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8/21/2013 to 8/31/2013
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August 31, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Two injured in accident on board a GOB Polaris
The Polaris with yellow license plate SP E-0265 is issued to the Belize Agriculture Health Authority and is the property of the Agriculture Department through GOB. At the time of the accident, the Polaris was driven at the time by 30 year old Matias Cunil, an employee of BAHA attached to the San Pedro Branch and a resident of Succotz Village in the Cayo District. Also in Polaris cart was Mejia, Guerra and another unknown female. As a result of the incident, Mejia was rushed in her unconscious state to the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II and was later airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. She received injuries to her face, mouth, teeth, left leg, and her left ear was severed. “According to the doctor, she is in a stable condition but will need reconstructive facial surgery,” said Police. Guerra suffered a broken left hand and complained of chest pain. “We strongly believe alcohol consumption was a factor and urine samples were taken from the driver and sent to a forensic laboratory,” said the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Department, Superintendent Luis Castellańos. Late on Friday evening, Cunil was formally arrested and charged for driving a vehicle without due care and attention, driving motor vehicle with alcohol above the prescribed limit and two counts of negligent grievous harm caused on Mejia and Guerra.

Kimberly Kamish to replace Destinee Arnold at Miss United Continents Pageant
As of Tuesday, August 27th, queen of the Jewel Miss Belize, Destinee Arnold has withdrawn from representing Belize in the upcoming Miss United Continents Pageant scheduled for September 14th in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Her reason being that she wishes to further her education abroad. Destinee Arnold is no stranger to the world of pageantry, having won the title of Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize and represented Belize in the Miss International Pageant in Okinawa, Japan in 2012. She has also participated in the Miss Ethnic World pageant in Long Beach, California, where she won the title of Miss Ethnic World 2013. Her stunning beauty and personality won the hearts of many and when she represented Belize at the 2013 Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant she won over the judges as well. After seven long years of wait the Reina de la Costa Maya crown went to yet another proud Belizean. Her beauty and bubbly personality has ensured Destinee a bright future in whatever she challenges.

Twist me up! Thai Massage in San Pedro
Thai massage – my only recollection of a Thai massage was in 2006. It has certainly been a while since, so I absolutely had to march myself down to the Thai Spa at the Fairdale Plaza. I needed to get some twisting, turning, stretching and adjusting happening.I met the friendly and gentle Chanthra Yaemwaenkaew who instructed me to put on a traditional Thai outfit. It was full white, loose and cool. Hmmm, this was definitely different; I was intrigued. Outfit on, I indicated that I was ready. Already, I had visions of lying face-down and feeling a few stretches and tugs, all designed to make my body pliant and relaxed. It did start off with some soothing massage in various pressure points, Chanthra kindly asking what level of pressure I felt most comfortable with. Even though my computer shoulders were screaming for deep and intense, I wimped out and asked for medium pressure. After I had decided, it was time to lay back and await snore-inducing bliss.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Police Department Praised for Keeping Crime Down in San Pedro
This comes as very good news to residents of Ambergris Caye, as reports during the month of June had indicated an increase in crime, in particular burglary. Only five burglaries were reported in July as compared to 14 in June. The most problematic areas on the island where more crime is reports remain in Sector 2 being town core, Coconut Drive, San Pedrito, San Juan and Boca del Rio areas. The North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch group is very happy with the performance of the San Pedro Police Department, reporting much less crime in the area. ASP Castallano noted that his main challenge at the moment is with drug activity at the northern-most point of the island. He is working on increasing patrols and anti-drug operations in the area.

Belize Jaguars Football Players Honored with Award
Two of Belize’s Football Players, Mr. Woodrow West and Mr.Ian Gaynair were awarded by the Belize Olympic Committee for their outstanding honesty and patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup Tournament in the U.S.A. According to the committee their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee. Mr. Charles Bartley Hyde, President of the Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission, and other members; Mr. Raymond Lashley, Ms. Hadie Gomez, Mrs. Yolanda Fonseca and Mr. Edward Pitts, and with the consent of Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, in concurrence with His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Patron of the Belize Olympic Committee announced that the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy was to be awarded to Mr. Woodrow West and Mr. Ian Gaynair.

Misc Belizean Sources

MPR Off Road Race
The race through Mountain Pine Ridge is this weekend, Saturday, August 31st, at Hidden Valley Inn. Hope they get a lot of great pictures, of the scenery, and the vehicles. It'll be muddy this time around.

National Bartending Competition
Traveller's Liquor is having its 60th anniversary this year, and they are looking for Belize's best bartender. They'll be choosing the 2 best from Cayo at Midas Resort tomorrow, August 31st. For more info, email [email protected] If you're up to the challenge, enter their National Bartender Competition. "Bartenders are being given the chance to showcase their skills at the 60th anniversary for Traveller’s Liquor Ltd. Competition, with talent from 6 districts competing for the title of Belize Best Bartender."

Back to School Dance
Everyone's heading back to school, and that's a reason to party. Hands for Life is having their Back to School party at JJ's(formerly Cappello's), tonight. There will be great music, give-aways, and free jello shots. Have fun and support a great cause.

Valerie Joyce Penner Exhibit at Soul Project
The Soul Project had a special exhibit Saturday night of the works of Valerie Joyce Penner. Quite a bit of her art was on display, and she even did a few songs. Rick Galvez played some new material also. Another great night at the Soul Project. VIDEO

Channel 7

FECTAB Made Peace With PM
Last week, FECTAB held a memorable press conference, lathering Norwegian Cruise Line and its proposed project for Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. The raised so much hell that, the Prime Minister, who famously does not watch the news or read the papers, did get wind of their fulminations. So, he did the unexpected thing; he called FECTAB President Tom Greenwood and invited them to a meeting. That was held on Wednesday and today we caught up with the trio in Belize City to talk about what came out of the meeting. They were surprisingly upbeat about the undertakings given to them by the Prime Minister:… Tom Greenwood - President, FECTAB "It was a brilliant move on the part of the Prime Minister to at last give us a little respect, that is what we asked for - he gave us maximum respect because he asked our opinion, he argued with us, he talked with us - he tried to convince us on some things, we convinced him on a lot of things - it went extremely well." David Almendarez - FECTAB "The first thing he promised us is that if the project is done down south, it will go through a full EIA assessment, he also assured us it's not a done deal, it has to meet environmental compliance."

Former FFB Pres Agrees To Pay Income Tax 500/monthly To Settle Arrears
Last night we told about former FFB President, 55 year-old vet, Bertie Chimilio, who allegedly owes the Income Tax Department, $33,255 in arrears for taxes he didn’t pay when he was the president of the FFB. Well, as this picture, shows Chimilio left the court today wearing a big grin. And that might be because the judge ordered that he has to pay his income tax arrears of $33,000 dollars at a rate of $500 dollars per month for five years. Today, the income tax prosecutor Anne Castillo appeared to show the court cancelled checks and a salary registry. She noted that many of his records had been destroyed and she could only unearth emolument checks for between 2010-2011. She added that Chimilio had not filed tax returns for several years when he was FFB President.

Gov’t Golf Cart Caught In Drunk Driving Accident On San Pedro
We report on accidents all the time – usually between fast moving vehicles on the highway – but an accident in San Pedro last night proved that even a golf cart can be deadly. The San Pedro Sun reports that 2 people were injured in a traffic accident when a Government of Belize owned Polaris golf car slammed into a fence. The victims are 19 year-old Julia Mejia a waitress at an island bar, and Geovanni Guerra, tour guide, both of San Pedro Town. The accident occurred at the corner of Caribeńa Street and Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town early this morning. Police came upon this accident during a patrol at 2:30 am, when they saw the golf cart crash into parked golf cart. The driver then reversed, hit the fence surrounding Heritage Bank and fled the scene.

US Capital Says Choc Needs to Stop Misinforming
Right now, just about every major media house in Belize is in Punta Gorda on a tour of the Sarstoon Temash National Park and adjoining communities. Now, this is a kind of rogue move because SATIIM no longer co-manages the Park, and today’s tour included a trip to the US Capital Energy Drill Site called Temash Number 2. SATIIM took community leaders there last week where it led to a showdown with police who were protecting the site. And this morning before the media departed, King who we mat at the Belize city Municiapl Airport warned that there was a right way and a wrong way to do things – and at a meeting yesterday, he urged Choc to do things the right way:.. Alistair King - Country Representative, US Capital Energy "Well the meeting we had yesterday wasn't really about that but it came up. Anybody has to get permission from the Forest Department first to go into the park because they are the management of the park." Reporter "Has that permission been given as far as you know?" Alistair King "No, not to my knowledge"

Transnational Trafficking Of 12 Year Old Girl
There is a troubling case of human trafficking and transnational crime to report tonight – and it involves a 12 year old Mexican girl. Tonight, reports say the 12 year old minor is being deported from Belize back to Mexico after she was found by Belizean authorities in Belizean territory. Reports say that she was found near the border with Guatemala in the company of 2 undocumented Honduran nationals who have both recently been deported from the United Stated and one of them is a known member of the MS-13 gang. Belizean authorities, with the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, are investigating a possible case of human trafficking, because the child is 12 years old, while the two Hondurans are older than 30 years and convinced her to leave her house and come with them from the state of Tabasco, Mexico, through Guatemala to Belize.

Hold Up! On Hawkesworth
Tonight, Cayo residents are advised that The Hawkesworth Bridge is under repair. The Ministry of Works issued a release today saying that the bridge will be closed for maintenance and repairs for the next week. But, it won’t be closed all day – the bridge will shut down from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily.

Still No Bail For Bucknor
In July of this year, accused molester Charles Bucknor was charged with one count of indecent assault upon a 12 year old girl and was denied bail. And today, bail was again denied when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court. Bucknor has been unrepresented from his first arraignment, and today after 43 days on remand, he asked the lower court to please grant him bail. Bucknor told Magistrate Leslie Hamilton that he’s innocent, and has no prior charges or convictions. But Magistrate Hamilton refused him bail and further remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until September 17, 2013, when bail will be considered on his behalf. In July, the prosecutor had objected to bail when he submitted that, there is a possibility that Bucknor could be slapped with additional charges. So far, no additional charges have materialized. The minor told police that on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Bucknor performed oral sex on her. At the time the minor was a Standard 6 student.

Finnegan Calls House Committees Dysfunctional
Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard plenty about the public accounts committee. The social partners agree that they have to get it working, and while all that is good and well, is the House Committee System working any at all. Well, Senior member for the UDP Michael Finnegan has publicly confirmed what any regular visitor to the house can clearly see: The House Committee System is completely dysfunctional. Yesterday evening, he told us that often times the meetings last for just five minutes, because members show up un-prepared, and unable to analyse the hefty pieces of legislation. According to Finnegan, typically at committee meetings, quote, “nobody has studied the bill – no one has anything to say about the bill.” He says members, on both sides of the house don’t have the capacity to properly analyse the legislation put before them. He noted also that meetings often start late, or are postponed after committee members fail to show up. In that case however, members still collect their allowance to travel to and from Belmopan. Finnegan said, quote, “NONE OF THE COMMITEES ARE FUNCTIONAL.”

Mass In Blues, Re-loaded, Re-visited
In 1971 pianist Frankie Reneau wrote, composed and arranged a heartfelt elegy to his piano instructor Laura Staine who had died in a tragic accident. Reneau was only 16 at the time, and the highly precocious, complex and vivid reflection on life and death was very well received. Reneau was rightly hailed as a prodigy – and he along with band and choir performed to eager audiences in Belize city and the Districts. That was 1971, and since then, Reneau has migrated to the UK, where he trained extensively as a concert pianist in Moscow, and London. And now, 42 years after Mass in Blues, he is returning to his boyhood masterpiece. Reneau is performing Mass In Blues for two nights on September 6th and 8th at the Bliss Center. The event is seen as one of the highlights of the September Celebrations for music lovers, especially those who fell in love with Mass in Blues. The good news for them is that Mass In Blues has been digitally re-mastered by Ludwig Studios and is being re-launched on Compact Disc with new packaging and liner notes. And the good news for Reneau is that he has re-visited his work and found it fit for a modest re=working:….

Lova Boy Gets Ready To Launch New Album, Reflects On Tough Year
And while Frankie Reneau is going back into the past to re-work a classic, punta rocker Lova Boy is zooming into the future with his new album “Victorious.” Yesterday, we sat down with Lova Boy to discuss the new album, his new outlook on life and the bogus sexual battery allegations that hounded him last year:… Lova Boy - Release New Album, "Victorious" "The album is a very triumphant and celebratory album, so I felt like there was no better time release an album like that. Victorious in itself right, the meaning of the album and the concept behind the name and what the album represents is basically saying that Lova Boy is in a place in his life whereby I am ready to acknowledge and own the fact that I won't make it to be gazillionair yet but however I have been victorious and successful in life. Once I am able to own that place, in term I will be in a better position and bestow blessing from within and help other people be victorious in their own life. I want to be very clear that why Lova Boy does make party music - I invite anybody and to listen to the content of the music - I don't make music that really degrades women. The rhythm is a party rhythm, that doesn't mean it's not spiritual - it moves people."

Little Miss….
The 5th annual - Independence Day Junior Miss- Pageant will be held this weekend at the Bliss. The pageant is organized by a group of ladies - who call themselves "Concerned Belizean Women" and through this event they have been able to fundraise and donate to numerous organizations and charities in Belize. 7news caught up with the 7 contestants today – while during practice. Witney Swift - Pageant Organizer "This is the fifth annual Miss Independence day Junior - this idea came about because of the concern of Belizean women. A group of ladies who came together to join forces to help fund raise and donate to various females and child centers, organizations and charities. People can expect a night full of entertainment - these young ladies have worked hard during the past six weeks and we have 4 different section - the introduction, dance, costume, the statement and along with the evening gown section." The pageant is on Saturday night at the Bliss. Tickets are 10 dollars and the show starts at 7pm sharp.

Confirmed: Greg Is Gone!
And in our last story tonight – news from Midway Village in the Toledo District is that AT A 6:00 PM PRESS CONFERENCE, Greg Choc has confirmed what had become all but evident: he has been accepted to attend law school and is leaving his post. He added that when he decides to go it will be in consultation with his people and someone else will lead the movement.

Channel 5

Black Widow Thrillers: San Ignacio woman puts hit on her husband, but gets caught
On the first of August we broke the story of a woman in San Ignacio who had allegedly put a hit on her husband, a wealthy British national, Glen Wilson. [...]

Mother charged for abandoning her kids who were rescued from a burning apartment
A fire at an apartment complex on Canondale Street in Lake Independence on Thursday nearly claimed the lives of two children, three year old Shanika Reneau and four year old [...]

U.S. Capital Energy says SATIIM needs permission from forestry to access Temash
Media teams from across the country are currently in the deep-south on a SATIIM-hosted tour of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That’s the intention, anyway. In recent days things have [...]

Yumi Limited looks to buy Caye Chapel Resort
A press release on the BCB Holdings website says that Yumi Limited, a British Virgin Islands Company, has entered into an agreement to purchase the exclusive Caye Chapel Resort. The [...]

San Pedro woman is disfigured in a horrific accident
There was a traffic accident in San Pedro Town early this morning. Two persons were injured when the Polaris they were travelling in slammed into a fence. The injured victims [...]

Former F.F.B. president will have to pay income tax fines for the next five years
The case of former Belize Football Federation President, Bertie Chimilio, for unpaid income taxes amounting to thirty-three thousand dollars continued today in the court of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Testifying was [...]

Belize Jaguars will play despite not being paid
There are serious rumblings in the Football Federation of Belize right now. The players who represented Belize at the Gold Cup have not received the payment they were promised. The [...]

Athletes to represent Belize at 2013 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship
Belizean athletes continue to compete on the international stage. The most recent contingent to leave is the National Under-eighteen three-by-three basketball team. The team departed en route to Washington DC [...]

Hands of Mercy Charity Foundation gives school supplies to needy children
Some four hundred and fifty less fortunate primary school students from across the Belize District received some much needed school supplies courtesy of the Hands of Mercy Charity Foundation. Designed [...]

President Obama weighing possible responses to military action against Syria
Going into the weekend, military action appears imminent against Syria by the United States. On Tuesday, the U.S. president Obama said that he was weighing possible responses to what the [...]

Concerned Belizean Women present fifth annual Independence Day Junior Miss
The September celebrations kick off this weekend. It’s a calendar filled with activities leading up to national day. This Saturday, the pageant called Independence Day Junior Miss will be staged [...]

Second Annual Village Arts and Craft Expo
Another activity being held this Saturday takes place at the newly renovated Memorial Park. It is the second annual Village Arts and Crafts Expo which will showcase the talents of [...]

Memorable moments of the summer’s hottest family entertainment show, Superstar!
At the Bliss auditorium, the crowd went wild on Tuesday night on the announcement that the duo of Shannelly and Chad had emerged as this season’s Superstars. The competition among [...]


San Ignacio/Santa Elena Towns Countdown to September Celebrations
This weekend marks the beginning of September, the time of the year when our patriotic ego is at its largest since we celebrate the two hundred and fifteenth anniversary of the Battle of St. Georges Caye on the tenth and thirty two years of Independence on the twenty first of September. As you’ve been aware, Raise your flag and Win with love, an initiative that started in 2006 to give a kick to the patriotic spirit by offering prizes for decorating homes, businesses, or individual items, will start its tour next week all over the nation. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been travelling to several towns to hoist banners, which indicate that it’s time to get patriotic and win with love. Today, we travelled to San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District where, according to Mayor John August, they’re one step closer to full fledge patriotic display JOHN AUGUST, Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena “We are preparing and getting the town decorated and getting prepared for the upcoming celebrations; we have a lot activities planned.” And he says that raise your flag definitely adds spice to the patriotic spirits, and that sentiment was also echoed by the Counselor in charge of Special Events, Shari Medina

Traffic Accident Proves Fatal for a Belize Defense Force Soldier
A fatal traffic accident yesterday evening in the Toledo District has claimed the life of a BDF Soldier. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The accident happened on the Southern Highway at a location between the Tambran and Medina Bank Village. Officer in charge of Toledo Police Formation Superintendent Simeon Alvarez went to the scene of the accident.” SUPERINTENDENT SIMEON ALVAREZ “At around 5:15pm, the police responded to a traffic accident which occurred between miles 63 and 64 on the Southern Highway. The accident was between a motorcycle, which at the time was being driven by one, Mike Cho, 22 years old, originally from San Jose Village; he was heading from Punta Gorda from Santa Rosa when he got into a mishap with a red vehicle being driven by Natasha Gomez, 20 years old, a secretary of Punta Gorda Town, who at the time was heading from Bella Vista to Punta Gorda Town when the head on collision occurred. The cyclist, who was later recognized to be a BDF solider, lost his life as a result of the accident.”

All Terrain Vehicle Handed Over to Institute of Archaeology
Earlier this year, the making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites was launched. The project is being executed under the Belize Rural Development Program Two, with counterpart funding from the European Union with co-financing from the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, represented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute for Culture and History. As part of this initiative an all-terrain vehicle was handed over to the Institute of Archaeology today. According to the project coordinator, Ian Morrison, the ATV will assist with monitoring upcoming infrastructure improvements at indicated sites. IAN MORRISON, Project Coordinator, MTBCAAS “We are here today to hand over an ATV that will be a major contribution to the health and safety especially at the cave sites we have at the moment. It will be based at the Caves Branch where we have the highest visitations and it will be used for the monitoring of the infrastructure works throughout the cave sites and wherever we think is necessary but mainly at Caves Branch but also it will assist in the rescue efforts at these sites should the need arise. This ATV is a 2013 500CC vehicle; it’s very big and we must warn that the riders and drivers of this vehicle must exercise caution.

Mexican Minor Found on Belizean Soil Near Guatemala With Two Men; Possible Human Trafficking
Belizean authorities have handed over a twelve year old Mexican girl to their Mexican counterparts. The girl was found in Belizean territory near the Guatemalan border. She was in the company of two Honduran nationals, both with criminal records. Love News understands that the repatriation was a joint effort between the Mexican Embassy in Belize and the Government of Belize. Reports are that Belizean authorities, with the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, believe to be a case of human trafficking. The girl who lives in Tabasco, Mexico was convinced to leave her home and travel with the two men to Belize. The men have been identified as Raul Villanueva Cardenas, (aka) “Hugo Ramirez Pardons ” also known as ” Rolando Hernández Jiménez ” or ” Justin Daniel Jordano Palace ” , who is an alleged member of the gang MS-13, and Jose Antonio Paredes. Both men were recently deported from the U.S. and have criminal records. They were remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Love News understands that the minor was transported in the company of members of the Department of Human Services today to the border with Mexico and delivered to Mexican authorities, including the Mexican Child Protection Agency, along with her mother. Love News also understands that the Embassy of Mexico in Belize made contact with the relatives of the child in Mexico in order to report that the child was in the custody of Belizean authorities.

Three Belize City Secondary Schools Awarded for Doing The Right Thing
Since 2010 Philip “Fawda” Henry has been conducting a personal initiative to try to keep Belize’s children safe on the street. The Do the Right Thing Pedestrian campaign has taken flight and today, Henry issued awards and medals to students from the top three qualifying schools. He told Love News that his sessions with the students proved helpful. PHILIP ‘FAWDA’ HENRY “Today was a blast giving out the medals and the awards to the three schools that qualified. Edward P. Yorke today was the champion for the entire country, ‘Do The Right Thing’ pedestrian safety school program; second place went to Pallotti High School and Maud Williams High School placed third. The children were overwhelmed to know that they have achieved medals and gifts from BTB and other business places across the country; knowing that people are out there caring about them doing the right thing. This program is for the children to know what safety is; utilizing the sidewalks and the pedestrian crossing. Over the past years we had a lot of children missing in the remote villages and districts and in Belize City we had the same thing, cars driving over the pedestrian bump and not wanting to stop and now we want everyone to know that all schools have united and try to bring down predators who are trying to knock down these children and kidnap them in cars. The children are aware to look out for vehicles, their license plates, vehicles with stolen license plates and with different colors. I want everyone to know that Pallotti, the second place champion and they are going to work together in order to have this program in their Social Studies class and I am proud of the principal who told me they will forward this program in their Social Studies class.”

Mother of Toddlers Rescued from House Fire Arraigned For Child Abandonment
The mother of two young children who almost perished in a fire but were rescued by a neighbor is tonight on remand at the Belize Central prison when she was unable to meet bail that was granted to her late this evening when she appeared in Court today. 25-year-old Shanel Robinson was unrepresented when she appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Two charges of child abandonment were read to her. No plea was taken from Robinson. As was reported yesterday, Robinson reportedly left her two children both under seven years old age alone in an apartment on Canon Dale Drive in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. A fire started in the apartment and the children had to be rescued by neighbours. Magistrate Hamilton offered Robinson bail in the sum of one thousand dollars since the court prosecutor had no objection but Robinson was unable to meet mail. Robinson is due back in court on October 8. The children remain in the care of child services.

Past Football Federation President Guilty of Owing Government Taxes
In a judgment given today, Dr. Bertie Chimilio was ordered by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton to pay five hundred dollars per month for income tax amounting to thirty three thousand three hundred and ten dollars until the total amount is paid. The payment takes effect from September 15. If Dr. Chimilio defaults on payment, Magistrate Hamilton may sign a warrant for him to be committed to Belize Central Prison for a period of six weeks until payment is made. Dr. Chimilio said that he is not currently employed and he had suggested that he could pay two hundred dollars per month but that was not acceptable. The non- payment of income tax is for a period of two years, 2010 and 2011. Dr. Chimilio was not represented by any attorney.

International Press Says Caye Chapel In Belize Sold For Millions
Caye Chapel Island Resort is now, reportedly, off the market. That’s according to an online article posted on According to the article, BCB Holdings has agreed to sell Caye Chapel for thirty million dollars. The multi-million dollar sale was done with Yumi Limited, a British Virgin Islands company funded by private equity, according to the article. In the conditional agreement to sell Caye Chapel, the terms of the transaction provide for an initial non-refundable payment prior a due diligence period from September 1, 2013 to November 14, 2013 and a final closing on December 20, 2013. Reports, however, are that several other offers exceeding the selling price was offered by other interested parties. Of note is when we did an online search for further information on Yumi Limited there was no results.


OWTC To Bestow Awards To Exemplary Orange Walkenos
The countdown for the September celebrations has begun and by now, many patriotic Belizeans are already displaying their love and honor for our country. The good news is that their patriotism will not go un-noticed as the Orange Walk Town Council has organized an award for ten outstanding Orange Walkenos who are vivid examples of true patriots. A plaque will be awarded to these individuals who have given of their time and efforts to assist others and those who have held the Belizean banner with pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Individuals that they believe have serviced the community and serviced this country well for whatever amount of years they have been here whether it is a teacher, it is a policeman, whether it is a fireman, public servant or it is an educator for whatever capacity they believe that person have given up to themselves to the community being patriotic to this country and for being Belizeans we want to encourage them to send in those names, want to honor ten of these people on the 20th night celebrations and we don’t want it come from a decision come from us we want to pool at the names that would come up and then we do the best ten then the committee would then select the best ten that they feel really deserves that recognition this time around.”

NTUCB Strikes Back At GOB
Tonight it seems that the issue of the restructuring of the Public’s Account Committee won’t go away until the Prime Minister of Belize receives the idea with open arms and actually looks into the improvement of the committee. Knowing the P.M though, that’s easier said than done. A few days ago the Office of the Prime Minister issued a release taking a no stance on the issue. The release clearly stated that the proposed restructuring of the committee would be too expensive, since the costs to hold committee meetings would increase. The statement went on to say that the Government side of the Committee will insist that the Chairman calls an urgent meeting of the PAC to agree to a schedule for consideration of all the outstanding Auditor General reports. The schedule would be divided into two: examination of pre-2008 reports; and examination of post-2008 reports. And if Hon. Espat, as Chairman of PAC, refuses to get things moving the way Government plans, then the provision of the Standing Orders to have its members convene and conduct the meetings so that the work of the Committee can get done will be used. The meetings will be held with or without Espat’s support. The People’s United Party did not take Government’s statement lightly and signed a declaration demanding and confirming their commitment to the restructuring of PAC. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize are also backing up Espat’s proposal. And yesterday the NTUCB reiterated their strong support for the restructuring of the PAC.


Income Tax Department takes former FFB President Bertie Chimillo to court
Former Football Association President, Bertie Chimillo was before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court after being summoned by the Income tax Department regarding the recovery of arrears. The record is showing that Mr Chimillo owes income tax some $13,900 plus $19,355.00. Today was for a judgment summons but Magistrate Leslie...

GOB annoyed by SATIIM accusations
Earlier this week the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) fired off a press release offering further condemnation of the actions of police and representatives of U.S. Capital Energy in denying SATIIM representatives access into the Sarstoon Temash National Park last Friday. It maintains that the Government’s and...

University of Belize launches Institutional Curriculum Review
On Thursday the University of Belize lifted the veil on an important internal evaluation of the national university’s present programs, policies and plans for the future. The Institutional Curriculum Review, according to the University, is designed to create an ongoing program of academic reviews that will help to monitor...

Belize City woman reports sexual assault
A woman in the St. Martin’s Area of Belize City says she woke up to a man sexually assaulting her. Sometime around two Wednesday afternoon, the victim says she was sleeping in her house, when she was awakened to a man on top of her. The woman reported that...

16 years old accuses man of rape
In Belize City, authorities are investigating a rape report filed by a 16 year old girl. The minor, accompanied by her grandmother, reported that since she was 11 years old, a man identified as Felcito Sho, has been fondling her. She further stated that he had threatened to kill...

Grassroots Training seeks to propel Belize football to higher heights
Belize, small as it may be, has proven to the world that it has the potential to compete against the big countries in football at both the senior and junior levels. One would only think that the next step is to continue by investing in more...

VP of FFB promises to pay A Team players soon
Plus News got a chance to speak with FFB Senior VP Sergio Chuc, regarding the stalling of payment to the A team, for their participation in this year’s Gold Cup. As agreed to by the players and management, just moments prior to their departure to Oregon, the monies would...

Western Regional Hospital investigating death of unborn baby
On Monday, a report came in that a man lost his unborn child at the Western Regional Hospital. Although this man’s suffering is understandable, hospitals in general are known to lose lives daily- a natural course of life. However, what makes this man’s case peculiar is that he claims...

Coalition and COLA donate school supplies to Belize City children
On Thursday, The Belize Coalition To Save Our Natural Heritage, along with COLA, gave away school bags filled with school supplies. The recipients were 20 primary school students from both north and southside Belize city. Rochelle Reneau communications and research officer shares more. Rochelle Reneau...

BTB presents second Village Arts and Craft Expo
The Belize Tourism Board is preparing again to showcase the best of Belizean arts and culture at its annual arts and craft expo in Belize City on Saturday. With more here is the Destination Planning and Development Coordinator for the BTB, Clive Myers. Clive Myers – Coordinator: This Saturday,...

Queen of the Bay to be selected on Saturday
The true harbinger of the September Celebrations in Belize City is the annual selection of a Queen of the Bay. It has been described as living history – 67 unbroken years of an “emblem of freedom,” as the classic theme song written by Eloise Humes describes her. Current queen...

Young and old musicians join together for memorable event
Belizean musicians are making major strides in the industry, both locally and on the international scene. But it’s only right that homage be paid to those performers who paved the way and created a platform for the up and coming. And this past Sunday, Belizean...

Mikal launches new album “Redefined” and Music Video “Moving On”
Gospel musician Mikal Evans will be launching his new album “Redefined” next month. It’s expected to be a grand affair, with guest performances from Caribbean artists Emrand Henry and Stephen Murphy. Mikal Evans who stopped by Rise and Shine on Thursday, gave details...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Garbage Issue on the island
I need to be earlier with this update because we are faced with a real dilemma that will affect our little Jewel if we as a community do not act ASAP. Apparently, a case or few cases of Dengue has been reported in San Pedro. Now before you start blaming your village council for not spraying in the rain, let me explain a little about Dengue. The major causes of this disease is more garbage related than water related. This is FACT. Over the last month, we have many reports of the garbage collectors, getting paid by the establishments to take garbage to the dump that never reaches our dump. Now, we know that someone or many people on this island have seen people dumping garbage on the back streets, yet as we ask around for information, everyone is numb. This is our community and if Dengue shows up on Caye Caulker, none of us will be immune. Why are we allowing this to happen to us. As a villager, we owe our community and our neighbors the chance to live in a healthy environment. We will prosecute anyone found dumping garbage on our streets, in our neighborhoods or anywhere else except at the dump site. I would encourage all businesses to not allow garbage to be picked up after hours. Don’t give these individuals any excuse to infest our little jewel. By the end of the year this entire garbage system will fail to exist as it does now. Until then, we don’t need Dengue or any other diseases to upset our livelihood and way of living. Garbage disposal is our major problem Caye Caulker. Each resident have a responsibility to bag and ensure our garbage reaches it’s final destination. Maybe we should start paying the various collectors after they return from the dump with a receipt. HOW ABOUT THAT CONCEPT.

HIV Awareness
The National AIDS Commission along with the Caye Caulker health Committee will be offering free HIV testing with pre and post test counseling at the Cay eCaulker Health Center Friday, Sept. 6th, from 10am until 3pm.


Two children who were trapped in a burning room in an apartment complex are lucky to be alive after they were saved by a courageous neighbor who braved the fire and smoke to rescue them. The two children are now at the hospital receiving treatment for injuries they suffered as a result of the fire. The girl, 6, suffered burns to her face and hands, while her brother, 5, suffered burns to his ear. The incident occurred about 11:30 this morning in Apartment 4 of a housing complex on Cannondale Avenue in the Lake-I area of the Belize City. Kenrick Middleton, 38, who resides in Apartment 2 in the said housing complex, told Amandala that about 11:30 this morning, he was in his room resting when he heard someone yell “fire!” He immediately jumped up to see what was happening and he saw a neighbor run to Room 4, from which smoke was coming. The neighbor was trying to rescue the children, but that neighbor was unsuccessful. Middleton then went into Room 4, and it was dark and smoky, but he followed the sound coming from the children, who were crying in the back end of the room. He grabbed them and was taking them outside when he fell, hitting his knee in the darkness. Middleton said that although he fell, and suffered burns to his hair, he did not let go of the children, and at the same time, a woman who was also a resident of the apartment complex ran into the house and he handed them over to her.

Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan, a United Democratic Party member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told Amandala today it is not just the PAC which has been moribund – the whole system is dysfunctional, because very often, he said, House committee meetings last a few minutes—even when there is a quorum—and have to be closed early because those members who do bother to attend go there ill-prepared, or, in his view, do not have the intellectual capacity to engage in proper dialogue on the matters put before them. Finnegan would not say whether he would attend next Wednesday’s PAC meeting, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. “I don’t know if I am going… Nobody can force me to go to a meeting. The people who can force me to attend are the people who I represent in Mesop division,” Finnegan said. Finnegan said that the only reason some parliamentarians attend those committee meetings is to get the cash allowance, so that they can pocket the $100 or so they are left with after paying their transportation expenses.

The laudable contributions that Belizeans in the diaspora make to improve the lives of those here in Belize are always welcomed. Some of these Belizeans often play an inspirational role in the society by giving back to their communities. At this newspaper, such Belizeans are considered as exemplary, as they not only strive to be successful in their personal lives, but also play a significant part in seeking to improve the livelihoods of their fellow Belizeans. They sacrifice their time, resources and energy to make positive contributions in the development of their country. Today, Amandala had the privilege to speak with a much-accomplished and distinguished Belizean-American doctor who currently resides in Georgia in the United States, but is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of Belizeans. Dr. Phyllis Watson, 56, is a scholar in the medical field who specializes in internal medicine and is a true Belizean success story. She has spent over 40 years abroad after migrating to the US as a teenager. After studying medicine, she embarked on a multi-faceted career as a physician for over 20 years.

The Caye Chapel Island Resort, described by sales agents as “the ultimate private retreat” and “a true trophy property,” is reportedly off the market after reports that BCB Holdings has struck a US$30 million deal with Yumi Limited of the British Virgin Islands for the purchase of the 265-acre property. The ownership of Yumi Limited has not been disclosed, and a report published on (SMW) merely says that the company is “funded by private equity.” No company details were found in an online search conducted by Amandala. A real estate agent who has had interest in the asset, questions whether Yumi is a shell company affiliated with the Ashcroft group. He furthermore indicates that there had been multiple offers for more than the sale price. In fact, the Caye Chapel Resort property, located just 12 miles from Belize City, had been listed at a price of US$42 million to US$45 million. If you are wondering how the property ended up in the hands of the Ashcroft Alliance, we have found, from court papers we’ve seen, that British Caribbean Bank International Limited, based at Market Square, Belize City, had acquired the property in lieu of a US$30 million liability Caribbean Holdings Inc. (CHI) held with the bank.

This morning, Felicito Sho, 40, a resident of #4296 Jane Usher Boulevard, was taken before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and read a single charge of rape. According to a report, on Monday, a businesswoman went to the Racoon Street Police Station along with her 16-year-old granddaughter, who told police that Sho had been fondling her since she was 11 years old. She told police that she had not reported the matter because Sho had threatened to kill her and her family if she had said anything to anyone about it. But according to the minor, Sho took it a step further when, in the month of May, she awoke to find him on top of her having sexual intercourse with her against her will.

As the upcoming school year approaches, there is pressure on many parents to provide school supplies, books and footwear for their children in time for the reopening of school. A Belize City father who apparently wasn’t providing all the necessary supplies was almost mauled by his two sons as a result. Police report that they detained the two teenage boys, ages 13 and 17, of a Belize City address. The father, 61-year-old taxi driver Elihue Bailey, told police that he had parked his vehicle in front of his house on Racoon Street Extension on Monday afternoon around 1:00. He then went upstairs of his house where he was accosted by his 13-year old son who questioned him about a pair of tennis shoes that he was supposed to get for school, which is scheduled to reopen shortly.

A 21-year-old man of Xaibe, Village Corozal, has been arrested and charged with carnal knowledge after he had sex with a 15-year-old girl on Friday, August 23, at the girl’s home. After being taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court today, Victor Castaneda was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until Tuesday, September 30. Police say that the girl and her mother, both of Xaibe Village, made a report to them of the incident, which they said occurred at her home. Police took the girl to the Corozal Hospital, where she was examined by a doctor who certified that she had been carnally known.

Karim Bood, 33, a tour guide of #151 Antelope Street Extension, was charged with drug trafficking after police saw him throwing some bags through his bathroom window. According to police, at 12:30 yesterday afternoon, when they arrived near a residence in the area, which is next-door to Bood’s residence, a member of the GSU saw Bood throwing some bags through the louvers of his bathroom window, which appeared suspicious. Bood was taken to the back of the apartment, where the bags were retrieved and when police opened the bags, they saw that they contained suspected drugs. Bood and the suspected drugs were taken to the police station, where the drugs were weighed and amounted to 1.3 kilograms, or 3.52 pounds of marijuana.

A 19-year-old man told police that he was punched in the face by a member of the Ghost Town Gang, who was with other gang members, and a shot was fired at him at about 9:00 Sunday evening at a Chinese store at the corner of Lakeview Street and Cemetery Road in Belize City. The man said that while he was outside the store, he saw six men dressed in blue-and-white clothing walking towards him, and he recognized them. The man said that the gang members walked up to him, and without provocation, one of them punched him in the face. One of his assailant’s friends then pulled a handgun out of his pants and pointed it at him. The teen said that when he saw the gun, he ran into Curassow Street, and as he ran, he heard shots being fired at him, but he was not hit.

A man, 19, of Belize City reported that about 8:50 Sunday evening, August, 25, he was at a Chinese shop located at the corner of Curassow Street and Cemetery Road buying some items when he saw six male persons dressed in blue and white clothing walking toward him, from the direction of Lakeview Street. As they came closer to him, he recognized them to be from the Ghost Town Gang. The six persons walked up to him, and without provocation, one of them punched him on his left cheek. One of them, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall, and of fair complexion and medium build, with puffy hair, and who was dressed in a baby-blue 3/4 pants and a blue-and-yellow striped shirt, put his hand in the front of his pants and pulled out what appeared to be a black handgun and pointed it at him. Fearing for his life, he started to run, and as he turned on to Curassow Street, he heard a single shot fired in his direction. Police are seeking the shooter.

A Chinese businessman, Zhi Lian Zhang, 56, of San Jose Village in Orange Walk, was remanded until October 25 to the Belize Central Prison by the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 23, on charges of grievous harm, use of deadly means of harm and discharging a firearm in public. Police reports are that at about 6:30 Wednesday evening, August 21, three men were drinking at Zhang’s store in San Jose, when Zhang and one of the men became involved in an altercation. Zhang, police say, took his licensed 12-gauge shotgun and fired at Erwin Hernandez, 26, hitting him on his left hand. The businessman said that the men had bought beer from him, and paid with a $100 note, and after he gave them change, they left, but they later returned to rob him and tried to forcefully open the door to the counter area. According to Zhang, they beat and kicked the door to break it down to gain entry into the area, and so he fired at them.

A baby boy, 3, was attacked and bitten by a dog in his yard in Armenia Village. He is now recovering at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after suffering bites to his face. The incident occurred in the boy’s family’s yard about 3:30 p.m., Monday, August 26. The mother of the toddler, Elsa Lemus, told reporters that her son came out of the house and went under a craboo tree in their yard when she suddenly heard him scream. She quickly ran out to see what was happening, and she saw her son bleeding from the face, and a black dog sitting about three feet away from him. The children in the yard told her that the dog attacked her son. She immediately rushed the boy to the Western Regional Hospital, where he was admitted in a stable condition. Lemus told police that this was not the first time that the dog had attacked people in the area.

Therese Elijio, 31, also known as Tanisha Young, a resident of #152 Antelope Street Extension/Daisy Hornsby Street, was taken before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and read two charges of drug trafficking. According to police, members of the Gang Suppression Unit were on their way to Elijio’s house to conduct a search for illegal drugs when she was seen riding toward her house. She was searched on the spot, but nothing incriminating was found on her person, and she was escorted to her house, where the search commenced. Under a single bed inside the apartment, GSU found a red crocus bag and a large black plastic bag with a similar crocus bag inside it. When the bags were opened, inside the red one, 89 parcels of suspected cannabis were found, which amounted to 9.8 kilograms or 21.6 pounds.

Even as those who believe in the cause of supporting the visually impaired — like the outstanding Rowan Garel and the BCVI team who dived in the Blue Hole last month – try to raise money to support the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired’s activities to assist those with vision problems, the BCVI continues to be subject to those willing to plunder the facility. The BCVI Headquarters, located on Jabiru Street in Orange Walk, was burglarized, for the fourth time, on Friday, August 23, and two important computers of the center were stolen. One of the computers belongs to the in-house doctor of the facility, and the other was used by the rehab field officer for the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal. . Shamira Carrillo, the BCVI’s rehab field officer, told reporters that the thieves gained entry into the building by prying out the burglar bars and forcing out the louvers of the concrete building.

The best of Belize’s female softballers will be in action this weekend at Rogers Stadium in Belize City where eight teams from across the country will compete in the Belize Softball Federation’s XXIII National Women’s Softball Championship from Friday, August 30, through Sunday, September 1. The 8 participating teams are: from Belize City – BTL and Fresca Lady Rebels; from Cayo – Camalote Blazers and Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy; (from Belize Rural) Flowers Bank Easy Does It and Double Head Cabbage Mel’s United; and (from Corozal) San Narciso Golden Strikers and Xaibe Killer Bees. BTL is the defending National Champion. Fans might be curious to note the pink Baden Softballs (with a symbolic pink ribbon imprinted on them) being used in the tournament. That is to promote cancer awareness, as this year’s National Championship is being dedicated to survivors of breast cancer.

If we are to judge what would be the level of Belize’s performance in football competition on the international scene in the years to come based on the recent achievement of the “Baby Jaguars,” then we can say that Belize’s football future looks very bright at this point in time. The Belize Male U-15 National Football Team, affectionately known as the “Baby Jaguars,” returned home today after an impressive showing in the CONCACAF U-15 Championship that was recently held in the Cayman Islands. The team finished second in their group after losing only once to the only undefeated team in their group, Guatemala. However, the Baby Jaguars made an unprecedented achievement in U-15 CONCACAF competition, and ended with a remarkable record of 3 wins and 1 loss. Belize finished the tournament in commendable fashion with a total of 9 points, scoring 10 goals and allowing 3. The goal scorers were Randy Augustine, who netted 4 goals; Alvin Sifontes, who scored 3; and Mark Samuels and Rene Leslie, who scored 2 and 1, respectively. Their astounding participation and strong sportsmanship in the CONCACAF tournament earned them a chance to watch the championship game that was played on Sunday, August 25, between Honduras and Guatemala. They arrived back home after 1:00 p.m. on Monday, and were greeted at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport by their loved ones and members of the media.

At an award ceremony today in Belmopan, national football team members Ian “Yellow” Gaynair and Woodrow West, who had been previously honored by CONCACAF at its Gold Cup 2013 in the USA for rejecting and reporting attempts by match-fixers, were today honored for their “outstanding honesty and patriotism” by the Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission. Accompanied by fellow players and staff of the Belize National Team, Gaynair and West were each presented with the Gilmore Hinkson Fair Play Trophy at Government House in Belmopan by H.E. Sir Colville Young. According to an Olympic Association release, “The Gilmore Hinkson Trophy was established some years ago by the Belize Olympic Committee in memory of Mr. Gilmore Hinkson, who was a diligent and excellent secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years. He was an outstanding football, softball & cricket player.”

We received the message from Garrincha Adderley last night during the Press Cadogan Sports Show that Buck Palacio had passed on Tuesday in Dangriga. Another great Belizean footballer has left us, so soon after the Mugger and Big Mole. Buck was such a powerhouse in defence. I recall seeing him clear a ball with attackers closing in, and his kick was so awesome it seemed the ball would explode. The man was a “Rock of Gibraltar,” indeed, the perfect complement to the elegant and wily Turo Roches who sometimes played behind him as sweeper for the great Stann Creek Selections of the 1970s’. My mind is fuzzy, I’m not sure which team I was playing for (Islanders, Charger, Belprint, Milpros), or which Buck Palacio was defending with, when I clashed against him in front of the Seaview (southern) goal at the MCC. I mostly played center midfield, but I sometimes ventured into the attack. I was driving towards goal just inside the eighteen on the left side, when from nowhere Buck caught up with me, and I made the mistake of challenging, as if to block, his intent to clear with his volcanic right foot. Buck’s style was not only to stop, but to intimidate attackers with his power.

The Weekend Warriors (W/W) went from Leslie’s Imports to Garbutt’s Farm at Mile 25 on the Northern (Philip Goldson) Highway via Boom Road for the C Class, 38 miles; and from Leslie’s Imports to Crooked Tree Junction to Garbutt’s Farm at Mile 25, Northern (Philip Goldson) Highway via Boom Road for the A/B Class, 50 miles. Top finishers were: A/B Class: 1st place – Isaiah Willacey (Digicell-4G, 2:13:11); 2nd Beat Brunschwelier (Cayo Rentals, 2:13:24); 3rd Barney Brown (Scotiabank, 2:15:05); 4th Ernest Thurton (Santino’s, st); 5th Philip Burns (Cayo Rentals, st); 6th Kent Bob Gabourel (Invitee) and 7th Colin Maheia (BCB/FT Williams, st). Other finishers in no particular order were Ray Hyde (Santino’s), Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G), George Abraham (Scotiabank), Warren Coye (Santino’s), Preston Martinez (M&M Engineering), Wilbert Jones (Digicell-4G), Palas Joseph (Santino’s), Andrew Ordonez (Digicell-4G), Maurice Kelly (BCB/FT Williams), Nehru Gilharry (Truckers), Stephen Bissett (BNE), Eustace Ireland (Scotiabank), Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s), Vallan Symms (Cayo Rentals), Douglas Lamb (Digicell-4G), James Frampton (Santino’s), Mike Phillips (Santino’s) and Mark Reid (Zitro).

When this newspaper began 44 years ago, there was only one electronic voice, that of Radio Belize, and it was a PUP government monopoly. Today in 2013, there are so many, so many electronic voices. On Monday evening in Belize City, for example, we heard a Spanish religious radio station coming from somewhere out of the Cayo District. The reason there was only that one voice in Belize 44 years ago was that the Premier of Belize, Hon. George C. Price, was embarked on a process of nation building, and he needed to be sure all of the Belizean people were listening to him. Out of many, he wanted to make one. World War II, which ended in 1945, was like World War I before it, in that the chief antagonists were the British and the Germans, Saxon first cousins actually, and they were fighting for world hegemony through control of colonial territories. England and Germany were relatively small European states which had overachieved where world power was concerned, and they ruled large numbers of subject peoples in colonies from whence they derived raw materials for their factories at very low prices. (In both wars, the French were allies of the British. In World War II, the Italians and the Japanese were allied with the Germans.)

With the ruins of UBAD sadly surrounding me in 1974, I decided to make a symbolic farewell by running as the only UBAD Party candidate in the October general elections that year. There were precious true believers close to me, and I needed for them to see for themselves that the ride was over. I man would be the sacrifice. You had to deposit $200 in order to be a candidate back then. If you got 10 percent of the vote, you got back your money. If not, you lost your deposit. I remember that the two friends who helped me come up with the deposit money were the businessman Arturo Matus and Dr. Leroy Taegar. At the time, Mr. Matus had his store at the southern foot of the Swing Bridge, in a building owned by Alfred Melhado between Central Drug Store and the old La Mariposa. I’m not sure if Mr. Arturo and his younger brother, Orlando, had already started brewing Charger beer, but Mr. Arturo and I had become friends from back in 1969 when he was a contributor to the UBAD breakfast program on Hyde’s Lane. As a result of those contributions, Mr. Matus told me, Mr. Price had considered him a UBAD sympathizer.

…Rambling thoughts… …If you owned a bank, significant number of shares in the major industries of a country; if you controlled a propaganda organ, and had influential clout in the communications industry, not to mention interests In hotels, and if you have been given all this tax free for 40 years, then the next logical thing to do with all this “boondoggle and pork” is to establish a stock exchange… …the U.S. Congress is now in the process of amending its constitution to have a balanced budget. Heretofore and since its inception (thanks to Alexander Hamilton) the U.S. was constitutionally mandated to have a budget deficit. Now if the richest country in the world, the only one that is simultaneously a creditor and debtor nation, has lived like this for 200 years, why should Belize worry about a $42.7 million shortfall and be panicked by the I.M.F., unless it is part of their agenda to pay off the debts of the “North” with our natural resources… what is the price, I.M.F., of the largest living reef in the world?

Kremandala honors Dangriga’s Buck Palacio on his passing. He played the central defender position, we used to call it “stopper” in the old days. He was one of the very best in my lifetime. Buck, Orin Orio, and Garrincha Adderley were the closest of friends, and these three made any team they played on as strong down the middle as Belize has seen. Coco was in goal, Buck in front of him, and then Garrincha in midfield in front of Buck. Buck Palacio was a perfect physical specimen, not an ounce of fat on him. As big as he was, he was cat quick. When I think of him, I think of Hitler Gentle, who mostly played for BEC. But I believe Buck may have been bigger than Hitler. Buck was quiet, reserved, and dignified. I got to know Coco and Garrincha on a trip to Coatzacoalcos in 1978 much better than I did Buck Palacio. I told Garrincha and Mario Gonzales this morning that all our Kremandala facilities are available for Buck to be honored. The Garifuna people of the southern districts have a legitimate complaint over the years: no matter how great a star was born down south, the impression would be that an equivalent star in Belize City would be greater. This was not always the case. It was the fact that the media were in Belize City that made it appear so.

At the center of any enlightened development philosophy for Belize should be sustainable human development and good governance – two mutually inclusive concepts. Belize, like other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, is no longer a beneficiary of protected markets of the likes provided by our former European colonizers under the Lome Convention schemes. This period of protection was to allow our infant industries to grow, to develop, and be competitive in a highly globalized world. Unfortunately, too many of our infants never shed their diapers. What I find quite interesting in the diagnosis of the tourist industry and its ultimate product, as laid out in the Master Plan, is the emphasis on sustainability and competitive advantage. The plan speaks of six tourist products for marketing, but made it abundantly clear that the two primary motivators will be nature-based tourism and culture-based tourism. The economic wisdom was evidenced very much from the fact that we do have four unique (not uncommon, but unique) tourist assets, namely, the Barrier Reef Reserve System, the Blue Hole Marine Reserve, the Caracol Maya Site, and the Chikibul Cave System. These, of course, are complemented by the splendor of our other marine resources, our wild life, our landscapes and other Mayan sites. I need not mention the wonders of our culture and, most of all, our people.

“Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex,…” - Section 3, Constitution of Belize Clearly one of the bases upon which you should not be discriminated against is your race and even place of origin, political opinion or colour, yet from my little perch on the national scene and through my legal lens I have not seen a more discriminated-against class of people in this country than the Maya people, who, despite all the struggle, remain pushing forward to defend their rights. Kudos to them! Sadly, unlike the gay agenda that is now being defined to appear to be a human right and which has behind it [no pun intended] millions being pumped in it, as well as powerful faces on the world stage aligned with that lifestyle, even the best paid lawyers appearing as their advocate, the Maya struggle has not gotten even 10% of said profile. How ironic. At home, like abroad, the media feast on giving the gay agenda headline status and in the 2013 Gender Policy the government has even committed to pay the legal assistance to advance said case against the schools not compliant with said agenda, calling it discrimination. [See page 26 of the Gender Policy]. Will write more on this another time.

SATIIM official says Ch’oc is under vicious attack due to his activism. A ranking employee of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) told Amandala today that rampant rumors that SATIIM Executive Director, Greg Ch’oc, has abandoned the Maya of Toledo for a big plum – an opportunity to study law in the Caribbean – are being spread as part of “a vendetta against Mr. Choc.” The SATIIM official told us that as far as they are aware, Ch’oc has no plans to resign and he is still employed with SATIIM. They have no information to indicate that he is planning any immediate departure from the organization, the staff member added. Amandala has been trying to reach Ch’oc since last Friday, when SATIIM was blocked from entering the drill site of US Capital inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park; however, we have been unable to speak with him. We, therefore, wondered whether, indeed, the report of his resignation is true; however, staff indicated today that Ch’oc has not resigned.

Last Friday, a panelist on one of our morning television talk shows said, “We can’t have government by referendum.” He was commenting on a suggestion by a caller that a certain issue should be decided by a referendum. People who favor referendum know that there are issues of public importance, such as the death penalty for first degree murder, which will never reach the floor of the House for debate, even though the majority of Belizeans might think that that measure would reduce the incidence of murder and save lives. I am advised that the European Union, which buys most of our citrus products, is against the death penalty and would be offended if the death penalty was imposed on a offender, even though it is part of our penal system. It is feared that the EU would take reprisals in the form of boycotting the sale of our citrus products, even though our products are renowned for their high quality. It would not matter whether the government was Red or Blue: this is how our governments react to the “unexpressed” threat of our European Union patrons. So. In this case, it is not the will of the people that forms the basis in this aspect of our penal system. But, for that matter, we don’t know, for certain, what the will of the people is. No effort has been made to find out. That is why, we need to have a referendum. Tell the people the truth. Tell them about the risk, real or perceived, then let them decide with their eyes open and their hearts strong.

In last week Tuesday’s issue of the Amandala, we mentioned a peculiar incident that reportedly occurred at the Ministry of Natural Resources in Belmopan earlier this month. The incident involved a suspicious package that, according to media reports on Plus TV News on Friday, August 23, was allegedly sent to the Ministry’s Belmopan office and addressed to one of the three top-ranking public officers in the Ministry. The package reportedly consisted of an envelope that contained a threatening note and a bullet. However, further details regarding the circumstances of the alleged incident were not forthcoming until now. Upon opening the envelope, which was addressed to the official, we were told, the official allegedly discovered a matchbox, and inside the matchbox, there was a 9-millimeter bullet. But there’s more. Allegedly written on the underside flap of the envelope was a death threat in Spanish. It reportedly read “Compensa bien or muere”, which, when translated, means “pay up well or die.”

The unrelenting search of the National Coast Guard search team ended with the discovery of the body of Chelsie Smith, 7, of Sandhill Village, at about 10:10 this morning, the third day of a search mission to recover the missing girl’s remains. Smith’s body was found in the Isabella Bank Village river, less than 2 miles from where she disappeared under the water at about 11:00 Sunday morning while swimming with her family. A post-mortem was conducted on site to certify the cause of her death, and afterwards, Smith was taken to her hometown village of Sandhill, where she was buried today. Carol Leslie, a family member who was in the boat along with the Coast Guard divers, said that at about 10:10 this morning, the boat was moving slowly along the river and they were looking both ways when the Coast Guard diver saw something on the edge of the river, near the bushes.

A family of seven is now homeless after a fire completely destroyed their house and household furnishings at about 10:30 Tuesday night, August 27. The two-flat timber house was located in Bootsville in the Fabers Road Extension area in Port Loyola. The family is now seeking public assistance. Rose Williams, the owner of the house, told Amandala that about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, she was in the upper flat of her house watching television, when she smelled smoke and felt heat coming from the lower flat, which contained three rooms that were occupied by her children. When she looked outside, she saw fire coming from the lower flat and realized that her house was burning. She and her daughter quickly rushed outside and went down to try to put out the fire, but it quickly spread out of control and the house became engulfed in flames.

The former president of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Bertie Chimilio, 55, was summoned to court today for proceedings initiated by the Income Tax Department, which has gone after him for taxes, over $30,000, that he allegedly owes from his tenure as FFB president. Chimilio appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, where he was informed that the Income Tax Department is seeking its share of revenue from him for income he earned while he was the president of FFB. Chimilio, who was unrepresented in court, told the magistrate that he received a letter from the department in May of last year, asking him to come in to their offices to discuss his “tax situation”. He said he went in and spoke with a woman named Ann Castillo, who scribbled notes on a piece of paper as he explained his situation to her. According to Chimilio, after that very lengthy conversation, Castillo explained to him that they would be seeking their share of the revenues and that they filled out some forms, which Castillo told him she would forward to her superiors, then she would get in contact with him to let him know how they would proceed.

Two weeks ago, on August 14, news surfaced that Belizean football superstar Ian “Yellow” Gaynair, had been stripped of a piece of land in the Lake Independence area that had been given to him in 2006. Gaynair’s lease approval for his house lot on Holy Emmanuel Street had been cancelled by the Lands Department and issued to someone from Corozal, who was in the process of getting a title for the land. Gaynair was of course disappointed, because he had made costly efforts to fill and develop the parcel, since it was originally swampland. When the issue of the cancellation of the lease first aired on KREM Radio, Lake-I area representative, Hon. Mark King, took offense and threatened to sue KREM. This was because King felt that the reports were insinuating that he had something to do with the land being taken away. It turns out that the land lease was revoked by the Lands Department because the celebrated football star had fallen behind in paying his taxes.

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) is digging in its heels, as it continues to press the Barrow administration for what it maintains is much needed reform of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). “The NTUCB concedes that while the Standing Orders do not presently [contain] a provision for the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee; in the past, provisions were made for constitutional changes to accommodate nationalization of companies, as well as making changes to the composition of the Senate. Oh yes! Real precedence does exist to advance such a matter, as is being proposed for PAC!” said the Congress, in a statement released after its meeting this week. It also indicated that contrary to assertions by Prime Minister Dean Barrow that the PAC’s present composition reflects the balance of power in the House, this is not the case. The PUP has two seats (33%) and the UDP four seats (or 67%) on PAC, while the UDP has only 55% of the seats in the House and the PUP 45%.

National Assembly will be cordoned off for next Wednesday’s meeting, National Assembly advises Eddie Webster, the Clerk of the National Assembly, has confirmed to Amandala that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is set to meet inside the Committee Room of the National Assembly on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, following a request made by PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, Opposition member for Cayo South, to convene a meeting. However, Espat’s proposed agenda – the review of the 2010-2011 report of the Auditor General – is expected to be a source of contention between the two rival political factions which comprise the Committee. “I have gotten information that they will do everything possible to block it,” said Espat, referring to his call to look at the most recently tabled Audit Report. The Office of the Prime Minister has recently issued a statement, indicating that while it agrees with the resumption of PAC meetings, the audit reviews should not only include the reports under this United Democratic Party administration – but reach back in time to excavate those old reports that had never been touched by the Public Accounts Committee.

— by Russell Czarnecki Dear Editor, In Belize, the political misconduct (now there’s an understatement!) of the previous (PUP) administration and the total lack of transparency inherent in the current gang of thieves (UDP), would seem to support the notion that voting for the lesser of two evils is really no choice at all. When it comes to feeding at the public trough and using the National Treasury as their personal piggy bank, both of these oligarchies exhibit contempt for the people they govern and indifference to the fact that due to their shameless corruption Belize will never be part of the international community. Whenever I rail against corruption in Belize, the first thing Belizians are apt to point out — probably because I’m an American — is how this is also true in the U.S. Fair enough, there’s certainly no shortage of political improprieties, ranging from the incomprehensibly baroque criminality found on Wall Street to the long and tawdry list with which we’re all familiar, comprised of bribery, racketeering, fraud, tax evasion and every form of malfeasance imaginable.

By the time this letter reaches readers, the day and the time for the September Celebrations would have been set by the September Celebrations Commission (when did this become a Commission?) and taken to St. George’s Caye. (First Capital?) It was the late Philip Goldson, one of our National Heroes, who said, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, “September should be Celebrations Month, because we commemorate two historic events and should be done in grand style.” 1994 was the year and Derek Aikman, as City Manager, was the Chairman of the September Celebrations Committee and it was he who initiated the first grand entertainment. I recall how about 100 schoolchildren, all dressed in white, moved up and down while singing, “I believe I can fly,” in the presence of the Queen of the Bay, and hundreds of spectators in front of the Supreme Court. The grand finale came when the Guest Speaker declared the opening, with the release of pigeons, balloons and confetti.

— by Patricia Celenza Dear Editor, Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wave a magic wand over Belize, and will all its people full and lucrative employment? It is what Belizeans ask for, and it is what Belizeans deserve – the dignity of steady work for which they are justly compensated. But there is nothing magical in the 1,000 jobs allegedly being promised by Norwegian Cruise Lines in southern Belize. Norwegian Cruise Lines—with its U.S. $50,000,000 budget to develop Harvest Caye as a Disney-like environment for its 4,000 passengers—will permanently destroy a pristine caye environment and adversely impact neighboring communities—for what? For 1,000 jobs that NCL only hints at providing but does not guarantee? Norwegian Cruise Lines—with its annual budget of U.S. $56,000,000 for marketing alone—a Goliath in a giant megabuck industry that holds all the cards and benefits only itself— can suggest perhaps 1,000 jobs for Belizeans? And who knows if it is even as many as 1,000 jobs?

— by Jack McReynolds & Valerie Connaughton Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to express my great concern about the creation of the large scale cruise ship facility proposed for the Southern part of your lovely nation. My wife and I have been visiting Placencia, Belize, for our Christmas holidays for the past five years. We have found it a marvelous place to which to escape, and we look forward to continuing this tradition. I should also mention that prior to our discovering this part of Belize we had spent this time in Europe – but found Belize to be a quieter and more relaxing place to spend the holidays. As we have grown more familiar with Belize and its people we have contemplated purchasing property for our eventual retirement. The news that the Belizean government is now considering this facility has had a severely negative impact upon our plans.

— by Rodger Williams To: Colin bh There is a simple answer to your query made in the article entitled “Fish is the Golden Goose”, that appeared in the August 25, 2013 edition of Amandala. You stated that “it is extremely difficult to understand how a country that is investing so much in tourism can’t run with the sound advice of Dr. Gale about management of the fishing industry,” the advice being to ban gill-net fishing. It is easy to understand why the Government won’t run with the advice if one looks at the whole picture. Operations such as those contemplated for Norwegian Cruise Line at Harvest Caye; potentially have something in them for politicians. Banning gill nets, even though it may be more beneficial for the country, has nothing in it for the politicians. So why should they care?


Good Eats: Four Meals a Day in Placencia, Belize is Not Enough, Part One
For a tiny village of only about 1000 people, Placencia in Southern Belize has more than its fair allotment of delicious food. Placencia has charm and food to spare. In fact I got so many suggestions about where to eat and where to drink that I’m going to return to continue eating…very soon. Here are some of the good eats you can find in Placencia. Though only there for two days, I found some of my favorites more than once. I’ve always been a dessert lover but I’m finding that if you eat a few of them, they are a great substitute for a meal. Who knew? My very first morning after a TORRENTIAL rainstorm all night long, I walked outside at 6:30am to a fresh brewed cup of coffee and some very friendly folks. I couldn’t be happier to see Brewed Awakenings. It’s good to know that I can get my go-to breakfast food anywhere in Belize. But Placencia, I’m sorry to say that based on my one sampling, San Pedro has got you beat in the dolla taco category. Good but not in my top 10!

Belizean Jerk Chicken
Now with the September celebrations coming up when a young (and mature) Belizean’s fancy turns to barbeque, it’s time for that that Belize outdoor favourite, and probably by far the oldest star in the Belize Recipe Book, jerk chicken. Now, many people think jerk seasoning is a Jamaican thing, but actually, it Caribbean wide, coming from early Amerindian staple ingredients. Over the years, as other cultures added their bits and pieces, jerk evolved from coast to coast and especially island to island, each country’s just a little different to keep things interesting. In the case of Belize, the Maya influence is very apparent with the emphasis on allspice and chili, two things you see growing all over Belize. The romantic in us sees the Buccaneers adding the rum, and there’s probably a specific cultural reference to each of the other spices listed below.

“I’m Coming Out” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Please do not make any assumptions from the headline. Have patience. All will be revealed later! Up ridiculously early yesterday morning at 03.40 hours. Don’t know why I woke so early because I didn’t go to bed the previous night too early. One of life’s mysteries? OK maybe not a mystery but it could rank as a puzzle couldn’t it? With such an early ‘up’, and armed with the mandatory (well mandatory for me) mug of black coffee and my iPad I headed for the veranda and set about producing the edition I should have published on Wednesday and yesterday’s edition. It wasn’t too difficult to ‘knock’ the two editions out one after the over but it is not on my list of ‘things to do again’! I tell a slight mistruth though because I did take a break or two. The first one was to catch up on the news via The Times online ( only to find out that Arsenal has re-signed Mathieu Flamini – blast).

International Sources

Mayan Ruins As Seen In Instagram Photos
The Mayan ruins that are peppered through Mexico (and throughout Belize, Guatemala, and present-day El Salvador) are heavily-touristed by people eager to learn the history of the people behind the ancient empire. Tulum, for better or worse, bears a brunt of the traffic thanks to its luscious, beach-side setting. Ruin-seekers will also likely make the trek to Chichen Itza, about two hours away. So leave it to Instagram to highlight some of the more breathtaking photos of these spots, among others. Check out some of the highlights below.

August 30, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair receive Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy
It has been announced by Mr. Charles Bartley Hyde, President of the Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission, and other members; Mr. Raymond Lashley, Ms. Hadie Gomez, Mrs. Yolanda Fonseca and Mr. Edward Pitts, and with the consent of Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, in concurrence with His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Patron of the Belize Olympic Committee that the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy has been awarded to Mr. Woodrow West and Mr. Ian Gaynair for their outstanding honesty & patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup Tournament in the U.S.A. Their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee. The Gilmore Henkson Trophy was established some years ago by the Belize Olympic Committee in memory of Mr. Gilmore Henkson who was a diligent and excellent secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years. He was an outstanding Football, Softball & Cricket player.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister makes a short visit to Belize and speaks about “a new way forward”
On Sunday August 25th the Government of Belize received a visit from Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena. His visit was short as it only lasted a few hours and it included a flight via Mexican state helicopter down the Rio Hondo for a visit to the border marker at Aguas Turbias, the intersection of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Kuribena then visited the new Santa Elena border crossing after which the Minister flew to Belize City. While in the country, the Mexican diplomat met his Belizean counterpart, Wilfred Elrington, at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel where they had a lunch meeting. Because of the trade relationship between Belize and Mexico, as well as the 142-mile borderline between the two countries, the meeting is considered important. Following the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers spoke to the Belizean and international press. According to Minister Elrington, they are looking at improving trade ties with the northern neighbor. “We discussed ways so that we could put together a kind of agenda for a way forward. We want to come up with an agenda of matters of importance to us. Things that we will have to be doing are such as entering into legal arrangements, legal framework, to allow us to do trade with each other. To protect that trade we have to have a special agreement protecting the investment of our investors. Double taxation treaties will have to enter into mutual legal assistance treaties, extradition treaties – we want to develop more cooperation in terms of education, in terms of security and in terms of health.”

Ambergris Today

Island Academy Students Show Goodwill Act Towards Ramon’s Village
The spirit of togetherness and helping one another in times of need is one special innate characteristic that residents of Ambergris Caye have. When our neighbor is in need of assistance, we are all ready to dig deep and do as much as we can to help out. The very next morning after the devastating fire that destroyed most of Ramon’s Village our hearts moved and our cameras blinked with joy as we captured these amazing young school children cleaning the beach at Ramon’s Village. Island Academy’s Teacher Susan and her Standard 3 students were with rakes and trash bags in hand assisting the staff in cleaning the beach. WOW! What a great show of kindness! “Ramon’s Village Resort is always so kind to my students and Island Academy,” commented Teacher Susan to Ambergris Today. “They welcome the students when we conduct small events and help us out every year for our Halloween projects. We just did not know what else we could do for them after this horrible fire, but we had to do something to show our love back to them.”

New Miss Belize Representative for Miss United Continent Pageant
Miss Belize and recently crowned Miss Costa Maya 2013 – Destinee Arnold has withdrawn from representing Belize in the upcoming Miss United Continent Pageant scheduled for September 14th in Guayaquil, Ecuador. When interviewed the 20 year old beauty ambassador, model , and sociology major stated that not only is she exhausted but if she is absent from school for the required two weeks of competition, she will not be able to meet her projected academic timeline. “Our organization fully respects and supports Destinee’s decision,” stated pageant director, Opal Enriquez. “Though there is nationwide disappointment as we were hoping our champion would bring home another crown, as advocates for education we believe that Belize is fortunate to have a representative who has her priorities in order. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Belize Completes Training in Conducting Queen Conch Surveys
A group of 13 resource managers and fishers met in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to engage in a Training of Trainers workshop, focused on underwater visual census techniques for the queen conch or lambi (Strombus gigas). The queen conch is an iconic part of Caribbean culture as well as a valuable fisheries resource; yet, many countries do not have the knowledge to conduct surveys to ensure the sustainability of their populations. This is especially true in those countries where the fishery is still small-scale, with the possible exceptions of Jamaica, Belize and to certain extent The Bahamas and Dominican Republic, where the conch fishery is a well established commercial business. Accordingly, many fishery managers in the CARIFORUM region are forced to make management decisions based on minimal amounts of information.

Misc Belizean Sources

Destinee Arnold has withdrawn from representing Belize
Miss Belize and recently crowned Miss Costa Maya 2013 – Destinee Arnold has withdrawn from representing Belize in the upcoming Miss United Continent Pageant scheduled for September 14th in Guayaquil, Ecuador. When interviewed the 20 year old beauty ambassador, model, and sociology major stated that not only is she exhausted but if she is absent from school for the required two weeks of competition, she will not be able to meet her projected academic timeline. Destinee has released the following statement: After much thought and careful consideration, I hereby announce that I will not be able to represent Belize in the upcoming Miss United Continent Pageant in Guayaquil, Ecuador on September 14th. Within the past year I have received the honor of being crowned Miss Belize, Miss Ethnic World and Miss Costa Maya. Such prestigious accomplishments are more than any girl can dream of, and I am now looking forward to some much need rest and reflection. I feel it is the optimum time for me to take an exit from the pageant industry and focus on the pursuit of my academic dreams. By putting my education first, I am arming myself with what is essential in becoming a better representative for Belize, and me in the future. I take my job as a role model very seriously, I want to ensure that the young women of our country can always look up to their Miss Belize and know that we represent beauty of the mind, heart, spirit, in addition to physical attributes. My academic achievements along with the scholarship I received from Miss Belize and the Ministry of Education, have afforded me the opportunity to study abroad in the upcoming year and I fully intend to take advantage of that. In doing all of this, there will be no limit to what I can bring back to my beloved country.

Open Mic Night at Soul Project
Open Mic night at the Soul Project is really becoming popular. Last week, D Russell Photography was there to capture the scene.

Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz con Pollo is basically chicken with rice. All types of vegetables can be added to this dish, but I kept it simple by only including peas and carrots. Because the chicken is picked from the bone after it's seasoned and boiled, it is juicy and flavorful and you'll get a piece of chicken in every bite.

Channel 7

2 Children Saved From Burning Apartment Room
The word “hero” is much over-used in the media – but today, one Belize City man who saved two children from a burning apartment, more than qualifies for the title; he’s a hero with a capital “H”! Kenrick Middleton is his name and this morning at around 11:00 he sprang into action when a building was burning in the Lake Independence area and two toddlers were locked inside. Daniel Ortiz has the story of the fire and his heroic actions: Daniel Ortiz reporting Room # 7 of the Apartment Complex on Canondale Drive was completely destroyed by fire this morning. The wall scorching and the few unburnt personal belongings tells of flames which spread rapidly consuming almost everything inside the room. Benisford Matura - Operation Officer, National Fire Service "Upon arrival we found out that it was an apartment complex on Canondale Street, the apartment complex had approximately 12 separate rooms. We got into operation and started extinguishing the fire upon completion of this extinguishing we got to know that the fire started in apartment number 7 where the main fire was burning and it spread over to apartment 6 and 8 which was next to it."

Bertie Chimilio Caught Up With Income Tax
In March of last year, 10 Days after the President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente took over the office from past president, Bertie Chimilio, he announced to the nation that the richest sports federation in the land was broke. He also announced that his administration had no intentions of investigating Chimilio. But tonight the news is, that while they won’t, the Income Tax Department will. The 55 year-old veterinarian, Chimilio, is now a private citizen but according to the Income Tax Department, he owes them $33,255 in arrears which he didn’t pay when he was the president of the FFB. He answered to a summons today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton for supposed unpaid taxes dating back to 2010 -2011. He was given an opportunity to present his version of events after Magistrate Hamilton informed him of his options in relation to the arrears.

Foreign Minister: No Preferential Treatment For Guats Breaking Laws
In the past three weeks, we’ve reported on two cases of Guatemalans making brazen encroachments in Belizean territory. The first was a 20 acre milpa, one kilometer within Belize in the Caracol Archeological Park. The second was 50 gold panners, who fired at Belizean law enforcement, and ran off – only six of them were caught along with two firearms. Both cases left us scratching our head because the law that applies to Belizeans apparently doesn’t apply to Guatemalan encroachers. First, there’s been no charge for milpa farming in an archeological park – those Guatemalans were only charged for immigration offences. The forestry department and Institute of Archaeology couldn’t come up with charges to lay for farming in an archaeological protected area. But if a Belizean were to set up a farm at, say….Altun Ha – we’re sure they’d find something to charge them with, right quick! In the second case, the Guatemalan gold panners weren’t charged for firearm possession because the guns weren’t found on them. Now, we all know that in Belize City, if you are even on the same property of an unlicensed firearm – everyone in the area will be charged, and remanded.

Energy Ministry Says SATIIM Is Mistaken
For the past 10 days, tension has been building between SATIIM and US Capital Energy: SATIIM says US Capital is digging oil wells without permission on its traditional lands; US Capital says it has all government approvals and SATIIM is trespassing. Well, the Ministry of Energy says SATIIM is wrong because in its recent ruling, the Court of Appeal refused to uphold the order issued by the former Chief Justice Conteh requiring that Government “abstain from issuing any concessions for resource exploitation.” They adds that the court agreed with Government that Conteh erred in law by, quote, “failing to take…notice of the Petroleum Act which vests property in petroleum in the State and of the Sixth Amendment Act which, for avoidance of any doubt, exclusively vests the ownership of petroleum and other minerals in the Government of Belize.” SATIIM executive director Greg Choc could not be reached to comment on this today. He’s still not taking our calls after we asked him yesterday if it is true that he is resigning and going away to study law. Tomorrow SATIIM is taking the entire media on a Toledo tour and we hope to speak to him then.

OCEANA Still Looking For A Local VP
Audrey Matura Shepherd has left OCEANA and now the international organization has to find a new local boss. They’ve gotten a number of impressive applications, and the man assigned to lead the search is Alex Munoz, Vice President for OCEANA for the Andean region and Caribbean. He had a press conference at the Radisson in Belize City today today and explained that they are looking for a qualified leader who is totally committed to protecting the oceans:… Alex Munoz - Vice President, OCEANA South America & Caribbean "OCEANA is totally committed in staying in Belize and starting a new phase that will bring us new victories for the oceans. We always very closely with local communities, local people living in each one of the countries that we are in. We always look for national people that integrate our offices, especially the leader and this was not an exception in Belize - we're looking for a Belizean citizen to lead our office. We've received a number of very interesting applications, I would say over 30 really interesting applications - it's a very competitive process. We want to make a decision as soon as possible but it will be a difficult choice because we're very impressed with the quality of the candidates. What's important is that it's somebody that has a story here, that knows the people, that is accepted by the people and that is not considered a foreign. Audrey has her own style and we are grateful for the things that she did and the new leader will have a chance to prove that he or she can do it in the same way or in another way. Of course people are only a part in the history of any organization and when those people leave, we need to find new people that can keep doing the job - that's totally normal. Although we are looking for a strong leader - that leader needs to reflect that we are a big organization and that there's a talented group of people helping to make these results happen."

Ramon’s Village Resort's Road To Recovery
Last night, 7News told you about the major fire which did extensive damages to the popular San Pedro resort, Ramon’s Village. 29 of its 71 cabanas completely burn down, causing the business to shut down, and forcing the 25 guests who were staying at the resort to be relocated. Well today, the owner of the Resort, Richard Hendrick, flew in to San Pedro today where he met with the day to day managers to assess how best to deal with immediate repairs. The staff was also busy today removing the debris left behind from the fire. It is estimated that the undamaged parts of the resort will resume operation this weekend, when the staff hope to take in guests whom they can house. As the manager, Einer Gomez, told the media, the Dive Shop was operational yesterday, and it continued unaffected in the same fashion today.

UB Initiates Institutional Curriculum Review
The University of Belize is in the midst of an Institutional Curriculum Review. Now that may sound like just more bureaucratese for an institution that has been cultured into that. But, apparently, not so this time. The University bosses say they want to shake things up in a meaningful way – because Belize’s Development depends on it. Today the University President and Assistant Provost held a press conference in Belize City to outline the plan. The event was slightly weird for a few reasons. First, because in two years in Belize, President Cary Fraser has never held a press conference. Secondly, because UB does everything in Belmopan, the seat of its flagship campus; And third because the University Chairman wasn’t there and neither was the provost. In fact, very few faculty or staff were there. But 7news did attend the unusual event, and found out about a sober, progressive and thorough review of the state of affairs at the national university:.. Dr.Cynthia Thompson - Assistant Provost "We want to embark on a system where through the entire process, we are leading toward accreditation. At this moment the University is not accredited to any formal body and we want to build and lead the University towards that process so that in the long run we will be able to come out with an institution where its programs will be recognized and accredited - not only regionally but internationally."

Alleged Rapist Remanded
40 year-old Felicito Sho is spending his first night in prison after he was taken to court for allegedly raping a 16 year-old girl. According to police, the minor and her grandmother reported on Monday that since she was 11 years-old, Sho has been fondling her, which she didn’t report because Sho once threatened to kill her and her family. She added that in May of this year, she was awoken in her bed with Sho who had sex with her against her will. As a result, police arrested and charged Sho with rape, and today he was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who remanded him to prison based on the strength of the objections from the prosecutor.

New Drums For Mahogany St. Police Cadets
LAST week, we showed you the Mahogany Street Sub-Precinct Police Cadets who made the news for helping out an elderly resident. Well today, we went back to meet with the cadets who were receiving a donation of music equipment from Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, who is also a donor to the Samuel Haynes Music Center on Mahogany Street. Elrington told us today that he believes music can also be used as a mode of outreach: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was approached a month by the Sargeant in charge and he asked me if I would be prepared to donate the instruments to them and I told them that I would have been very happy to do that. As you know we have the Samyel Haynes Junior band and we believe very strongly in music and what comes from it but also the potential that it has for people to earn their living."

BTB's 2nd Craft Expo
On Saturday, The Belize Tourism Board is hosting their second Annual Village Arts & Craft Expo. It’s important for 2 reasons, the first being that the venue, the newly renovated Memorial Park, will be officially inaugurated. Today, the representative from BTB explained the second - and more important reason, being that they want to highlight Belize’s handicraft artisans to the hoteliers and gift shop owners: Clive Myers - Representative, BTB "Saturday the 31st, at 9:00am the Belize Tourism Board will be having its second annual Village Arts and Craft expo. It will be taking place at the newly renovated Memorial Park which I must say also that on Saturday we'll be having the official inauguration of the park itself. The objective of the Village Arts and Craft Expo is to set a platform for local artisans to get an opportunity to showcase their handicraft products to our local Belizeans and also inviting hoteliers and gift shop owners to see the wide array of craft that they can find in our country and to give these people a business opportunity.

Channel 5

Tensions between SATIIM and U.S. Capital reach boiling point
Last Friday there was a standoff between Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Maya Leaders and the Police when the group attempted to leave Punta Gorda by boat to visit [...]

Two children are saved from a burning apartment
Two toddlers were pulled out of a house engulfed in a blazing fire this morning in the Lake Independence area. The two children, one four and the other three years [...]

Owner of Ramon’s Village Resort comes to Belize to discuss way forward
It has been two days since a major fire destroyed Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Town…and the hotel’s management is wasting no time in picking up the pieces.  Hotelier, [...]

OCEANA VP comes clean on the LGBT factor
OCEANA’s Vice President of Southern and Central America, Alex Muńoz, is in Belize. He’s here to deal with the transition from former VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd to a new, as yet [...]

Is there institutional negligence with illegal encroachers on Belizean Territory?
On August eighth, the Friends for Conservation and Development detained two Guatemalans who were farming on our side of the border. That’s not exactly a rare event, but in this [...]

Illegal gold panning continues in Chiquibul
And there was another incident on August twenty-first in the area of Ceibo Chico. This time FCD rangers, Police and B.D.F. personnel came under fire as they approached about fifty [...]

Tax Department takes Bertie Chimilio to court
The former president of the Football Federation of Belize, Bertie Chimilio, was summoned to court this morning. The Income Tax Department is attempting to collect over thirty thousand dollars which [...]

Mango Creek resident is accused of sexually abusing a child since the age of eleven
Also in court today, was forty year old Felicito Sho of Mango Creek, who is accused of raping a sixteen year old Belize City girl. Sho was arraigned before Magistrate [...]

Who is to replace Audrey Matura-Shepherd to become OCEANA’s Country Director?
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about OCEANA’s stance on the LGBT issue. But OCEANA’s Vice-President of South and Central America Alex Muńoz is in Belize. Muńoz says that [...]

But media rep beats down on OCEANA VP for South and Central America
That was the more or less civil portion of the press conference called by OCEANA’s regional VP. The agenda of the briefing was generally a meet and greet, but the [...]

National university launches institutional curriculum review
The University of Belize today launched an institutional curriculum review, a process identified by President Cary Fraser as designed to establish a continuous program of academic reviews that will assist [...]

Belize delegation returns from CARIFESTA
Since it was first held in 1972, CARIFESTA has been promoting Caribbean artists and writers. The festival has been fading but this year, it revved into full gear in Suriname. [...]

Shannelly Sutherland, Winner of Be the Next Superstar, returns from Suriname
On Tuesday night, the Grand Finale of the hottest local entertainment show in the country was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. And taking the grand cash [...]

Mahogany Police cadets get a donation of musical equipment…
The Mahogany Cadets received a set of drums this morning thanks to the efforts of musician and Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington. These cadets operate out of the Mahogany Police Sub-Precinct [...]

…While the Coalition and COLA hand out school supplies
While the Mahogany Police Cadets got some musical equipment, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage and COLA handed over school supplies to needy students just in time for the [...]

Healthy Living teams up with NCFC to discuss parenting
In tonight’s segment of healthy living, we continue to build on our collaboration with the National Committee for Families and Children and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women [...]


Oceana Representative Is In Belize Seeking New Country Director for Belize
It has been one week since OCEANA’s Vice President in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd moved away from OCEANA to take up legal practice. Matura-Shepherd had resigned two months ago and today, one of OCEANA’s leaders held a press conference to discuss how far they have reached with finding a replacement. Alex Munoz, OCEANA’s Vice President for South America, said at a press conference today that he is here to search for Matura-Shepherd’s replacement and that the title of the post is no longer Vice President in Belize but Country Director. ALEX MUNOZ “WE are very impressed by the quality of the applicants and we are very optimistic of the new office in Belize. We are looking for a Belizean citizen, who has either been born here in Belize or has spent her life here so everybody knows it would be a local; we are not going to bring somebody from outside to lead the Oceana office in Belize. We are looking for a strong leader, someone who is passionate about the oceans, that is knowledgeable about the many threats that are affecting the oceans like oil drilling and over fishing. My role is just to supervise; I will not be the country leader and the new leader will have full authority to define those priorities which we expect to continue; we have a good set of campaigns and we don’t expect much change except maybe to expand our operations here.”

Education Ministry Approves Amalgamation of Primary Schools in Southern Belize
Residents of Riversdale in the Stann Creek District have voiced to Love News, that they are not too happy with the closing down of Nuestra Seńora de Guadalupe RC School in that area. However according to the Ministry of Education, the school is actually just being amalgamated with St. Jude RC school at the Maya Center where more space is available, through a request from the Catholic Management to which the school was entrusted to since its inception in 1987. Today Love News spoke with a concerned parent and president of the Parent-Teacher Association of Nuestra Seńora de Guadalupe RC, Elsworth Linarez who told us of the main concerns. ELSWORTH LINAREZ “The main concern is that nobody from the Ministry of Education has ever consulted with the parents.

Man Sneaks in Home and Sexually Assaults Woman
a woman from the St. Martin’s Area of Belize City reported to police that she was sexually assaulted in her house yesterday. According to the woman a domestic who resides on Holy Emmanuel Street, sometime after 2:00 yesterday afternoon she was sleeping in her house, when she was awakened by a man who was at the time on top of her and was sexually assaulting her. She said she was frightened and pushed him off and he walked out of the house. Police are now seeking the man who has been described as a person of brown complexion, about five feet seven inches in height and is medium build. The woman has reportedly known the man “by face only” for the past six years.

Toddlers Escape Inferno At Home
Two children are fortunate to be alive tonight after they were rescued from a fire at about eleven o’clock today. The incident occurred in a apartment complex locate on Cannondale Street. Love News was on the scene and Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the details. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “The fire occurred in room number seven in a twelve room apartment complex situated on Cannondale Street in the Saint Martin De Porres area. It was about eleven o’clock that residents of the other apartments noticed that a thick cloud of smoke was penetrating out of the windows. Inside the room were two children; four year old Shevaun Reneau and his younger sister, three year old Shanika Reneau. Evidentially both children were left alone by their mother. The doors were locked and the children were trapped. One of the other tenants, Keisha Petillo, heard the desperate screams of the children an acted upon impulse.” KEISHA PETILLO “I heard the screaming louder and my niece told me that Ms. Shawna window is on fire and when I ran out the two children were at the window fighting to come out but the window had blinds and so they couldn’t come out. I didn’t know what to do and so I yelled for help and I screamed for Kenrick to come help me and so my brother-in-law jumped up and he looked at me and said that the children were on fire and so, he stamped open the door and grabbed them out of the room.”

Head of Foreign Affairs in Belize Says Human Resource Is Lacking
Earlier today we met up with Minister Wilfred Elrington and took that opportunity to ask him about a recent incursion in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve when Guatemalan xateros were apprehended conducting milpa farming on Belizean territory. The men were detained but were never arrested and charged, mostly because Belize’s law enforcement authorities, namely, the Forest Department and the Department of Agriculture were not keen on whose jurisdiction that offense fell under. But while that may have been the case, the fundamental problem according to Minister Elrington is a lack of human resources. WILFRED ELRINGTON, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS “If you look at Belize, we are a very small society, three hundred and odd people, most of who are young people and then you have a fairly large section of who are older people and so the Government’s resources are stretched very thinly; we have had bitter complaints of people dealing with the rosewood, we have had bitter complaints of people fishing in the seas, for example and we have had bitter complaints of crime in Belize City; it is not that the country has the resources it needs to be able to deal with all of these things in the way it would want to deal with them. We have a serious constraint in terms of human resource apart from the finances; we are a small country relatively poor so to speak and so we can’t do all the things in the way we would want to do them, that is what we are aspiring to but bigger countries than us are finding it very difficult. People at the Forest Department are very limited; they have problems dealing with the rosewood much less dealing with the incursions.

Minor Says She Woke Up When She Was Being Raped
Felicito Sho, a laborer of Jane Usher Boulevard, was charged with rape when he appeared today in the court of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Magistrate Hamilton explained to him that he will not take a plea because the offence is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence is of a serious nature, that the complainant is a minor, that the complainant and the defendant both live in the same yard and there is a strong possibility that the defendant will interfere with the complainant. Magistrate Hamilton upheld the objection on the ground that the complainant and the defendant live in the same yard. He remanded Sho into custody until September 17. The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on May 1. The complainant, a 16 year old girl, reported to the police that she was asleep and she was awakened when she felt someone on top of her. She said the person, whom she recognized as Sho, proceeded to have sex with her against her will. Sho denied committing the offence.

Woman Charged After Making Up A Report of Being Attacked
On Monday police reported that a Belize City woman struggled with a man who had intended to shoot her. She had reported that she managed to take away the firearm from him and throw it in a drain. However as it turns out, the woman seems to just be a good storyteller since police investigations have proved the story to be false. As a result yesterday police arrested and charged twenty nine year old Jacqueline Bermudez, a resident of Benbow Street, with the crime of wounding and for the offence of Mischievous Act.

Gang Suppression Unit Makes Drug Bust in Southside Belize City
A drug bust was made by the Gang Suppression Unit on Monday afternoon. The unit visited the residence of Karim Bood on Antelope Street Extension in Belize City, and conducted a search for illegal firearm and drugs. When they arrived at the premises, the door was pushed open and a dark skinned man with plaited hair was reportedly seen forcing a transparent plastic bag through the bathroom window. The man was later identified as Karim Bood. Bood was taken to the back of the fenced yard and police found the transparent plastic bag and discovered that it contained fourteen other black plastic bags which in turn contained suspected cannabis. The drug was weighed and it amounted to one point six kilograms. The GSU proceeded to inform Bood of the offence committed and placed him under arrest.

Bucket Brigade Formed As Ramon’s Village Goes Up In Flames
It was established decades ago and after becoming of one the most popular get away spots on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Ramon’s Village Resort caught on fire last night at about eight o’clock. The spark that ignited into a massive uncontrollable blaze reportedly began in palapa 15 situated near the southside of the compound. The fire grew larger by the second spreading by airborne embers to the other surrounding palapas. A total of twenty nine rooms out of seventy nine were turned to rubble and ash. Einer Gomez is the Manager of the resort. EINER GOMEZ “I was at the end of the dock walking towards the property when I saw what looked like smoke and sparks and I hurried to the area; while heading there, at first I thought it was across the street but I called the front desk and asked them to have the security go to that area. We got there together and there was flame coming out of one of roof of one of the huts when we got there. Twenty nine rooms, mainly on the southside of the property were completely destroyed by the fire and our main area which houses the gift shop, the restaurant, the bar and the front desk/lobby.”


Traditional Queen Of The Bay Pageant To Take Place In Corozal
The first Queen of the Bay Pageant was held in Belize in 1946. In those days participants were expected to adhere to strict criteria’s laid out by a pageant committee. Prerequisites for competing are still enforced today but that does not deter young females from entering into the competition. With over 67 years of being carried out, the Queen of the Bay Pageant now forms part of Belize’s long list of traditions. In the District of Corozal the Queen of the Bay Pageant will be held on Saturday August 31st, at the San Andres Civic Center where 5 young and dynamic participants. To find out more about the event we spoke to Oscar Garcia, Secretary for the Corozal September Celebrations Committee.

September To Remember In Corozal
Across the country of Belize, including the District of Corozal patriotic songs and soca music can be heard announcing the celebration of Belize’s 32nd birthday. With this year’s theme, “Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the Free”, at the forefront, workers of the Corozal Town Council are busy beautifying the Central Park and the down town area in preparation for the official launching of the September Celebrations. This year, the Corozal Town Council has approximately 18 activities lined up leading to the 21st of September. The first event is scheduled for this coming Sunday. Oscar Garcia- Secretary, for the September Celebration Committee “This coming Sunday is the official launching of the September Celebrations to open the entire month of celebrations, the program will be starting at 6:00pm we will have the normal protocols; national anthem, prayer and the launching done by the Mayor Hilberto Campos, who he is the chairman of the September Celebrations committee followed by some fireworks and followed by a DJ face off competition and it is being organized by a sub-committee under the September Celebrations Committee by Mr. Victor Recinos, he is the organizer and he is organizing this event and last year it came out pretty well and we know that this year will be better.”

OWTC To Bestow Awards To Exemplary Orange Walkenos
The countdown for the September celebrations has begun and by now, many patriotic Belizeans are already displaying their love and honor for our country. The good news is that their patriotism will not go un-noticed as the Orange Walk Town Council has organized an award for ten outstanding Orange Walkenos who are vivid examples of true patriots. A plaque will be awarded to these individuals who have given of their time and efforts to assist others and those who have held the Belizean banner with pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Individuals that they believe have serviced the community and serviced this country well for whatever amount of years they have been here whether it is a teacher, it is a policeman, whether it is a fireman, public servant or it is an educator for whatever capacity they believe that person have given up to themselves to the community being patriotic to this country and for being Belizeans we want to encourage them to send in those names, want to honor ten of these people on the 20th night celebrations and we don’t want it come from a decision come from us we want to pool at the names that would come up and then we do the best ten then the committee would then select the best ten that they feel really deserves that recognition this time around.”

O/W Town Council Workers Learn More About Social Security
Approximately forty employees of the Orange Walk Town council, who are charged with a wide array of responsibilities such as beatification of the town, cleaning, and picking up of garbage, attended a very important workshop today. The initiative was hosted by the Orange Walk Town Council in efforts of closing the gap between the council, its employees, and the Social Security Board. Officials from the S. S. B were invited to give workers a firsthand look into what are their benefits and how to go about filing proper claims. The presentation started from the basics and as Social Security Inspector Erston Hyde worked his way up, he targeted some of the key areas of concerns for employees.

NTUCB Strikes Back At GOB
Tonight it seems that the issue of the restructuring of the Public’s Account Committee won’t go away until the Prime Minister of Belize receives the idea with open arms and actually looks into the improvement of the committee. Knowing the P.M though, that’s easier said than done. A few days ago the Office of the Prime Minister issued a release taking a no stance on the issue. The release clearly stated that the proposed restructuring of the committee would be too expensive, since the costs to hold committee meetings would increase. The statement went on to say that the Government side of the Committee will insist that the Chairman calls an urgent meeting of the PAC to agree to a schedule for consideration of all the outstanding Auditor General reports. The schedule would be divided into two: examination of pre-2008 reports; and examination of post-2008 reports.

Man Charged For Rape In Belize City
Tonight there is a disturbing case of rape coming out from the old capital involving a minor and a 40 year old man. On Monday, the 16 year old girl, accompanied by her grandmother, visited the Racoon Police Station and reported to authorities that Felicito Sho has been sexually abusing her since she was 11 years old. The girl stated to police that at the age of 11 Sho began fondling her. As if that was not enough, the 16 year old girl stated to police that Sho threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone about the abuse. Fearing for her life the minor decide to keep quite.

Cause Of Fire At Ramon's Village Still Undetermined
The cause of the fire at Ramon’s Village on Wednesday night is still unknown at this time and so far the management of the resort has been unable to estimate the total loss since the investigation is yet in its early stage. Ramon’s Village Resort is one of the oldest resorts on the island of San Pedro and has been in operation since 1982 with more than 72 employees. As previously mentioned 31 one of the resort’s cabanas were completely destroyed by flames on Wednesday night at around 8:00 when a fire started at the roof top of unit 15 which was occupied by two guests and flames rapidly spread to the other units. The resort is valued at eight million U. S dollars. But what we must clarify is that it is not insured with RF&G Insurance Company Limited as was reported last night by all media houses. The information was released by police but early this morning RF&G clarified that the while the insurance company does insure the vessels for Ramon’s Village Resort, it does not have any current insurance arrangements in place for their property.


Iconic Tourism Establishment burns in San Pedro
Wednesday night, residents of San Pedro were still grappling with surreal devastation after the island’s iconic tourism establishment was partially destroyed by fire. Tuesday night, the San Pedro Fire Department made an enormous effort to contain an inferno that raved through the Ramon’s Village...

Government House awards football players
Over a month ago, Belizean football stars, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, revealed to the media that they had been approached by match fixers with a big bribe to throw down the match against the mighty U.S.A. However, both men turned down the offer. They...

Plus News tours Harvest Caye
Government of Belize signed a memorandum of Understanding with Belize Island Holdings BIH- LTD on the 31 July 2013 for the development of harvest cay in the Stann Creek District to be used for a cruise ship terminal and destination for Norwegian...

CitCo to resolve taxi situation on Albert Street
Last week we brought you the story of the taxi operators at Albert Street in front of the Battlefield Park where their allotted spaces have been redistributed. Spaces have been given on Orange and Church Street but the total amount of spaces on Albert Street has been cut in...

Member of the Belize National Football Team gets land in Lake Independence through Area Rep
Member of the Belize National Football Team Ian Gaynair was honored twice over on Wednesday, in separate events. The first was an award from the Governor General at the Olympic Fun Run in Belmopan but the second is a little more personal. On Wednesday, the defense man received property...

Belize City Council refurbishes Laboratories at Saint Catherine’s Academy
St. Catherine’s Academy is the latest Belize City school to benefit from a relationship with the Belize City Council. On Wednesday the school unveiled its newly refurbished science lab, the first renovations done anywhere on the newest building on campus – which happens to be 50 years old. But...

Police receive Mobile Command Center from Taiwan Government
On Wednesday the Police Department received a mobile command center called a “Peace Caravan” and related radio communication equipment from the local Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Ambassador David Wu explains the purpose of the equipment. H.E. David Wu – Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize: Indeed, crime is...

NTUCB restate position on restructuring of the PAC
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the NTUCB have come out to restate their position on the restructuring of the PAC. On Wednesday, the committee wrote “There are several issues of significant concern to the NTUCB as related to the matter of the Public Accounts Committee. Firstly, in...

Guatemalan found fishing in Blue Hole Natural Monument
A Guatemalan Fisherman pleaded guilty to illegal fishing in the Blue Hole Natural Monument when he appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He is 46-year-old Elias Chavez. Chavez pleaded guilty to one count of illegal fishing. Allegations are that on January 13, 2013Chavez was found fishing inside...

Belize City woman faces drug trafficking charges
A Belize City woman is facing drug trafficking charges after they were allegedly busted with a large amount of weed. Therese Elijio who also goes by Tanisha Young, was detained following a search by GSU at Therese Elijio’s apartment, that led to discovery of 75 pounds of marijuana. She...

Okeke bust will be used in Battlefield Park
You heard Steven Okeke rant and rail against the Belize City Council for their apparent inaction over an agreement to purchase his completed bust of Antonio Soberanis, the labor leader who made Battlefield Park his stomping ground in the 1930s. A bust of Soberanis currently sits at the park...

Mental Health Resource Center holds Open Day
The Belize City Resource Center caters to the homeless and mentally ill in our society. Today they hosted an open house at their offices at corner Vernon and Tibruce Streets in Belize City. We learn more from administrator Joyce Ellis. Joyce Ellis – Belize City Resource Center Administrator:...

NICH celebrates ten years
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) was established in 2003 from a unification of the former Belize Arts Council and Department of Archaeology, now respectively the Institute of Creative Arts and Institute of Archaeology. It has added departments for the Museum of Belize/House of Culture and Institute...

The Guardian

More than 30 Cabanas at Ramon’s Resort Destroyed by Fire
More than thirty cabanas at one of San Pedro’s oldest and most successful resorts were destroyed by fire on Tuesday night, August 27th. According to police report, a fire started on the roof top in unit 15 of Ramon’s Village Resort sometime around 8 p.m. and quickly spread to other units. Despite the heroic efforts of the San Pedro Fire Service and a bucket brigade manned by tourists and residents of the area, more than thirty cabanas; including, the restaurant, laundry room, gift shop, bar and office were destroyed in the fire. Fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries from the incident. The resort was accommodating 25 guests at the time of the fire. According to the Belize Tourism Board, “all twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels.” A release by BTB goes on to say that all cost incurred as a result of the guests’ displacement will be covered and they have each received “care packages”.

PUP Promises and Mike Espat’s Fuel Racket
The PUP bunch was at it again this week when they made their way to Belmopan to make a presentation to the Clerk of the National Assembly of some kind of declaration. PUP leader, Francis Fonseca, made the declaration and it basically stated that they stood in support of Julius Espat's laziness at not wanting to do the work as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. It then ended saying that they would change the PAC within the first 100 days if they are ever elected to office. And that was a promise. Well experience will tell anyone that when the People's United Party makes any kind of promise it would stand a better chance for it to be accomplished if it was written on a block of ice and put outside on an Easter Weekend. They are not known to fulfill their promises. Many will recall the Southside Promise that they made in 1998 before getting elected to office. All 10 Belize City PUP standard bearers signed it at the time and not a single one of them delivered on the promises. So that is that as it relates to PUP promises. But more than just a promise, we are certain that the so-called declaration which the PUP took to Belmopan on Tuesday, August 27th, was just a diversionary stunt to distract Belizeans from the fact that Julius Espat as the Chairman of the PAC does not want that body to meet. And the explanation is simple.

Hon. Mark King awards National Team player Ian Gaynair with Land
On Wednesday, August 28th, Hon. Mark King awarded National Team Player, Ian Gaynair, with a parcel of land in the Lake Independence area. Hon. King says that he was disheartened to know that Mr. Gaynair had lost his land during the time when Cordel Hyde was the elected PUP representative in the division. He said that it was very low of Kremandala to use our national player as a political foot ball to gain momentum into bringing back Hyde on the political scene. King states that this comes at a time when he has created a very successful land program called the lake I Land Amnesty Program 2013. Hon. King recently gave out over a hundred land titles, in the lake I area and has over a thousand more to give out in this coming year. The program seeks to assist and empower residents of lake I with a piece of land, and in the case of Gaynair he was immediately assisted through the program. Gaynair was handed a lease and in the coming weeks his purchase price will be secured. Because of his excellent representation of Belize internationally Hon. King will be covering the purchase price for the land thereby securing title to Gaynair.

Let’s Pretend
As an individual you have very limited options when it comes to expressing your opinions on the hot issues of the day. You can write letters to the local newspapers, knowing that few people read newspapers and even fewer read the letters that are published. You can also call the various morning talk shows but since there is no point in calling a host that agrees with you and those that disagree will either cut you off or overpower your 30 second input with ten minutes of rebuttal this is unlikely to have the required effect. If you insist on expressing yourself to friends, family and co-workers they will tune you out and agree behind your back that you are becoming obsessive. Talking to strangers is unwise unless you are a taxi-driver or barber. A better alternative might be to write a regular column for a newspaper or even better own one or become a talk show host and/or own a radio or TV station. Easy to say but rather difficult in practice! However, there is a cheaper and easier way. Organisations have far greater opportunities to get their messages across than individuals because they purport to represent large numbers of members. Newspapers run banner headlines and two page articles when an organisation makes a statement on an issue; radio news spots feature the statement for days and talk show hosts use it as a springboard for their own opinions. The real bonus comes from getting TV coverage – up to half an hour on a slow news day and with serious crime going down there are a lot of slow news days. The coverage can be expanded by press conferences, press releases, prompt statements refuting any counter arguments, and even marches and demonstrations.

Chetumal and Belize City strengthen ties
On Monday, August 26th, the Belize City Council and Mayor Darrell Bradley hosted a delegation of 39 persons from the municipality of Oton P. Blanco, Quintana Roo including the newly elected mayor, Lic. Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui and councilors of that Mexican municipality. The delegation was in the city as part of a courtesy call in which Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero was also present.

14 More Students Receive BTL Scholarships
Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, scholarship recipients, Chairman and other members of BTL’s Board Fourteen distinguished young people joined the Belize Telemedia Limited family on Thursday, August 22nd, as they each received what is considered to be the best scholarship in the country. The Belize Telemedia Limited has been providing opportunities for young Belizeans to further their education since its scholarship program started in 1991. Since then, almost 600 students have received scholarships and over $1 million has been spent on the educational expenses of promising Belizean youths.

Football and Volleyball Games to start in Cayo
A first of its kind Five-a-side football marathon is being planned to start at 10:00a.m. on September 1, in Santa Elena Town. So far fourteen teams are preparing to compete for the Cayo Central Five-a-side tournament. The launch to a series of games was to have been made this past Sunday, but due to the rains it had to be postponed. Nevertheless, a large crowd gathered this past Sunday to enjoy a few matches on the much improved grounds by the Santa Elena Public Library; just on the outside of the Santa Elena Basketball Court. Newly installed poles have been placed on the football field and holes on the grounds have been refilled to avoid injury to the players. The marathon is being sponsored by the Hon. Rene Montero and will last to November of this year.

Mural almost completed in Cayo
The Mural in San Ignacio Town is almost complete A mural depicting the typical life and environs of the Cayo District is receiving its finishing brush strokes this week by well known artist, Pedro Arnoldo Cruz. The painting has been commissioned by the San Ignacio Town Board and was started about two weeks ago.

City Council Refurbishes S.C.A. Science Lab
Science students at Saint Catherine’s Academy are enjoying a much more learning friendly environment in the school’s laboratories thanks to the Belize City Council’s school outreach program. The Belize City Council invested $13,000 in the renovation of the school’s two science labs. The floors were tiled; walls and ceilings painted; desk resurfaced and benches varnished. New windows were installed as well as ceiling lights and fans.

Dan Silva returns to the PUP grime
Having realized that the Cock-Mack-A-Dandy is a complete waste of time in Cayo Central, every old politician is dusting off their cobwebs to run for the PUP there. Earlier on Luke Espat decided he would run in that division for the People's United Party. We will not rehash the history of this fellow but we can say that he has a less than stellar record, especially in the field of engineering and business. His projects of failure can be seen on the Phillip Goldson highway near mile 4 where there are at least a dozen homes that are leaning. His legacy is at the bottom of the Iguana Creek as a slab of concrete which he called a bridge serves only the fish in that river. And then we can go on to list his failed businesses of Crockland, the Port of Belize Limited, Renaissance, Indeco and the list goes on and on. Espat's entry is old news, now the old politico of Cayo, Dan Silva has somehow been inspired to run.

Belize to Do More for People with Disabilities
Belize has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which provides Belize with a framework that will help to guide policy decisions on behalf of persons with disabilities. In order to move forward with an effective agenda it is important to get a better understanding of the current situation. With that in mind, UNICEF Belize and partners launched the Situational Analysis of Children with Disabilities and the Situational Analysis of Blind and Visually Impaired Children on Thursday, August 22nd.

Espejo Keeping Fort George’s YOUNG AT HEART
With so many families barley able to put together uniforms for the upcoming school year, the pressure is on parents to make do with the little resources they can muster. The Fort George area which has multiple pockets of poverty is no stranger to this struggle. In fact, most people wouldn't believe that the area held by former PUP Prime Minister Said Musa is as challenged as any other, but the truth is that 'Fort George' doesn't bear the symptoms, socially speaking, of an area represented by a former 2-time, well-financed, Prime Minister. In fact, physically speaking, the 12 city streets recently upgraded in the constituency have come as a result of the Belize City Council where Councillor & Fort George Caretaker Roger Espejo ensures that the area receives its fair share of the municipal works.

Mayor Darrell Bradley on the Right Track
The Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, has come under fire for implementing a policy of not renewing driver’s license for those persons who are delinquent in their payment of property taxes. The policy requires persons who owe back taxes to enter into a written agreement with the council committing to pay off those taxes within a reasonable period of time and taxpayers have to make a payment of at least one-third of what is owed before their license is released.

Second term of progress
The United Democratic Party has always prided itself in being an honest government which, whenever elected, serves the people to offer true development to Belize. When the UDP was elected into office it painstakingly took time to fix the problems which were created by the PUP. But historically, Belizeans have not voted for consecutive governments, until 2003 that is, when the PUP won an overwhelming victory; giving them the opportunity to be the first government to hold office for two successive terms. Because of what followed thereafter, some would believe that it may have been a good thing amidst so much bad, that Belizeans got to truly experience and understand what the PUP really represents and what they are capable of. It was an eye opener for Belizeans to see how corrupt this lot can really be.

Taiwan donates Communication Equipment to Police
The government of Taiwan through the embassy in Belize handed over a mobile police station dubbed the Police Peace Caravan along with Radio Communication Equipment and Repeaters to the Police department. Receiving the donation on Wednesday, August 28th was Hon. John Saldivar. He expressed gratitude to the Taiwanese government for the donation and explained that the communication equipment will go a long way in improving the system in Belize City. He noted that the equipment is part of a larger U.S. $120,000 dollar donation by the Taiwanese government which will be used to procure various other equipment and materials needed by the police. Also to be procured with the funding is a new police station in Belmopan at a cost of $120,000. Hon. Saldivar said that he was appreciative of the contribution by Taiwan and also by other partner countries like the U.S., India and Canada who have greatly assisted the police department. "We will continue to organize, reorganize; strategize and re-strategize to improve policing and make Belize safer," stated Hon. Saldivar. Along with the Taiwan donation, the Minister noted that the government has also recently contributed 5 vehicles to the Police Department through the Customs Department.

Toledo District’s New DAVCO
On Friday, August 23rd, the newly elected village councils of the Toledo District met in Eldridgeville Village for their annual general meeting to elect their district board.

Belize Welcome Back Young Jaguars from Cayman
The under 15 Jaguars performed excellently in Cayman as they became the first national football team of Belize to win three games in an international tournament. In the CONCACAF U-15 Championships, the young Jaguars defeated St. Lucia 1-0, Jamaica 3-1 and Grenada 6-1. Their only defeat came against Guatemala in which the final score was 1-0. The three and one record was not good enough for the team to advance to the next round of competition.

Whilie confirmed as Compol
Acting commissioner of police Allen Whylie was officially confirmed to the position as commissioner. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, made the announcement on Wednesday, August 28th. The Guardian spoke to Whylie who explained that it was a good feeling to know that he is the new commissioner. He stated that he had no doubt that he was competent and capable of doing the job of compol and was pleased that the government gave him the opportunity to do so.

Prison Officer Busted with Weed inside Prison
Ajany Smith, 28, has been a prison officer for just about six months and on Saturday, August 24th; he was busted with a stash of marijuana. According to reports, Smith complained of pain in his right foot while on duty at the Belize Central Prison and went to seek assistance at the medical center. While on his way there he was stopped at the search area as is the normal routine. During the search, another prison officer found two black plastic bags in Smith’s right pocket. The bags were opened in his presence and it contained marijuana. Police were called to the facility at about 11:20 p.m. Smith was escorted to the police station where the substance was weighed and amounted to 54.6 grams. Smith was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, August 26th. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of drug trafficking. There was no objection to bail and Smith was offered bail in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

Three charged for Jane Usher Burglary
Wilhem Ramos, 24, 19-year-old Yasmin Dominguez and a 17-year-old appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, August 28th, to face charges related to a burglary that took place on Saturday, August 24th. According to police report, the trio broke into the home of Charles Domingo on Jane Usher Boulevard and stole an X-Box game console valued at $725, five X-Box game discs valued at $150, a beach cruiser bicycle valued at $290 and a weed cutter valued at $275. Police investigation led to the arrest and charge of Ramos, Dominguez and the minor. The trio appeared in court before Magistrate Clive Lino on Wednesday. Dominguez and the minor were charged with one count of burglary and one count of theft. Ramos was charged with one count of abetment to burglary. They all pleaded not guilty to the offenses and bail was offered in the sum of $6,000 plus one surety of the same amount for each. They are due back in court on September 27th.

Guatemalan Fisherman caught fishing in Blue Hole Natural Monument!
Shortly after 10 a.m. on January 13th of this year, Clifford Cadle, Director of the Blue Hole Natural Monument, was on routine patrol when he spotted a vessel in the area. He approached the vessel and met 46-year-old Elias Chavez, a Guatemalan Fisherman. Cadle identified himself as a forestry officer and searched Chavez’s vessel. Cadle found 44 conch and a lobster tails. He then informed Chavez that he will be charged with illegal fishing. Chavez appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, August 28th, and pleaded guilty to one count of illegal fishing. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton imposed a non-custodial sentence since it was Chavez’s first conviction. He was fined $200 which he must pay by September 28th or spend two months in jail.

Remanded for attempted murder
On Monday, August 26th, 19-year-old Demoris Pook appeared in Magistrate’s court to answer to charges of attempted murder. He was arraigned before Maigistrate Clive Lino where he was read one count of attempted murder, one court of dangerous harm and one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Anthony Mejia. No plea was taken since the charge of attempted murder is an indictable offense. Pook who was unrepresented was informed that due to the nature of the charges, no bail can be offered at the lower court until 90 days time. He was informed of his rights to apply for bail immediately through the Supreme Court with the assistance of an attorney of his choice. He was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 17, 2013. In a report to police, Anthony Mejia, told police that he ran into a young man with whom he had an old argument with. He said he was walking through an area in Hattieville, when he met up with the young man and they got into an altercation. During the altercation, the young man pulled out a knife and stabbed him once to the left upper chest area.

Wayne Welch Charged for Threatening Woman with Machete
Wayne Welch, 45-year-old taxi driver of #13 Rivero Street, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with aggravated assault with a machete. Tanya Matura reported to police that she returned home at #13 Rivero Street at about 12:45 p.m. on Monday, August 12th, and her common-law-husband approached her with a machete in his hand. He verbally abused her telling her to get out of his house while hurling many insults at her. As she left the house he followed Matura and threatened to chop up her and her mother. He called her a thief and threw a pint bottle at her. Matura went to report the matter to police and Welch was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair recipients of Gilmore Hinkson Fair Play Trophy
Belize House, Belmopan, Cayo District, August 28, 2013 The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association this morning honoured two Belizean football players, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, with the first ever Gilmore Hinkson Fair Ply Trophy at a short but impressive ceremony at Belize House in Belmopan. The Awards Ceremony had the participation of the Hon. Herman Longsworth the Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports, Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, who gave a short back to Gilmore Hinkson and his involvement in sports in Belize, Ms. Josephine Flowers and Sonny Meighan of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Mr. Edward “Ned” Pitts, President Emeritus of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Mr. Michael Blease, General Secretary of the Football Federation of Belize, players and coaching staff members of the National Football Team of Belize, as well as well wishers and family members and fans of both Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair.

Athletics Association Elections on hold
The President of the Interim Committee of the Belize Athletics Association on advised from Consul informs the members of the Belize Athletics Association that the General Assembly Meeting that was scheduled for Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the University of the West Indies Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive has been postponed until further notice.

Dion Leslie elected president of the Belize Cycling Association
The Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association on Saturday, August 24, 2013, conducted the first ever national elections for the Belize Cycling Association. The General Assembly of the Belize Cycling Association was called to order at 2:20 p.m. by Mr. Hilly Martinez, chair of the Interim Cycling Committee. A total of 13 from the 15 delegates that were able to attend the congress did show up to participate in the General Congress. The elections for the post of president was then carried out by the Election Commission in which Dion Leslie of the Central Region received 9 out of the 13 votes casts, while Cordell Gordon of the Southern Region received 4 of the 13 votes casts. The elections for the post of 3 vice presidents were then held in which Orson Butler of the Central Region received 13 votes, Cordell Gordon of the Southern Region received 12 votes and Daniel Cano of the Western Region received 9 votes. The Committee members that were elected are Sheena Castillo of the Central Region with 13 votes, Fitzgerald Joseph of the Central Region with 12 votes, and Gilroy Spence of the Western Region with 9 votes.

Firms Basketball competition continues this weekend
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition will continue this coming weekend out at the Bird’s Isle with a number of games on the schedule. On Friday August 30, there are three games on the schedule with the first game commencing at 7:00 pm. In game one, it will be PUC/CBA/ Fisheries Dept against Atlantic Bank. The second game will feature Heritage Bank Ltd against the Belize Bank and this will be followed by BTL against the Belize City Council. The competition will then continue on Saturday, August 31 with three more games. In game one at 7:00 pm will see courts going up against Central Health Region, this will be followed by Bowen & Bowen will see action against BTL and in the night cap it will be Customs & Excise Dept. will do battle with Port of Belize.

Baden pink balls for the XXIII National Women’s Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will play host to the XXIII Edition of the National Women’s Softball Championship which is scheduled for Friday, August 30 – September 1, 2013, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. As the premier female sports in the country, the Belize Softball Federation has dedicated this year’s National Women’s Softball Championship to the survivors of cancer especially breast cancer. The Baden’s balls that will be used in the championship are pink in colour and carry the logo of the Cancer Awareness Foundation. The ceremonial first pitch will be a dual pitch, the first time that this will be done in the country and this honours will be given to Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, ISF Hall of Fame Member, immediate past Treasurer of the Belize Softball Federation, the only Women in Sports Commissioner in the country and she will be joined by a representative of the Cancer Society.

Body of Mexican Veterinarian taken out from ‘Rio On Pools’ in Cayo
On August 22, 2013 Dr. Marcelino Sosa 28 years was taking pictures from a cliff about 20 feet high in the ‘Rio On Pool’, in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area, in the Cayo District, when he accidentally fell into the stream at the bottom of the cliff and disappeared under the water. Dr. Sosa at the time was along with a group of Mexican Veterinarians and worked for the National Cattle Sweep Project testing cattle for Brucellosis. Efforts were made on August 22nd by a group, including Belize Defense Force personnel, to find Dr. Sosa, but due to darkness the search was suspended. On the following day, a search team comprising of the Belize Defense Force, Police and Forest Rangers—also drawing from people posted at Tapir Camp-- again made another attempt to find Dr. Sosa. With the help of co-workers Sosa’s body was eventually discovered at the bottom of the pool and taken to the morgue at the San Ignacio Community Hospital. The body was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital KHMH on Monday of this week. A post mortem has since been done by Dr. Mario Estradabran at the KHMH on the body which concluded that the cause of death was due to Asphyxiation by drowning due to mild head trauma due to an Incidental Consequence. At the K.H.M.H both Marcelino Miranda from the Mexican Consulate and Leonardo Palacio Lopez, brother-in-law of the deceased assisted Dr. Mario Estradabran in confirming the body to be that of Dr. Marcelino Sosa.

Youth Talks - Carnival … is all about the meat...
Carnival, as the event is remembered it brings excitement into the minds of our Belizeans. It is a word that like a whistle beginning a race begins celebrations. As September nears, one of the most exciting and expected events is carnival. But what does the term mean? What is its purpose? Is it fully a recreational activity intended for people to become free and walk around half naked on the streets under the excuse that this is what carnival is all about, or has it evolved leaving behind its real meaning? It seems now that carnival, like technology and fashion has been updating itself but still not changing its ancient purpose. It is still what it was intended to be from its beginning. Can we understand it? As a child in primary school I was taught that carnival originated from the slaves that were brought from Africa. According to my teachers, the slaves tried to mimic the appearance of their masters during the time of celebration. This may be true for other cultural displays in Belize but according to the facts carnival originated from the old world, Europe. According to Lynne Guitar, Ph.D. history/anthropology the celebration all started in Ancient Greece and Italy, long before the emergence of Christianity. The pagans had wild celebrations centered on the winter, spring and fall festival which was celebrated by even those who had become Christians. This being the reason then, that the Catholic Church adopted many of the celebrations, in turn giving them Christian meanings.


Well wishes to the Ramon’s Village after the fire symptoms – Symptoms and treatment for smoke inhalation
It is not always easy to look at the bright side when such a big tragedy occurs like as the Ramon’s Village fire, how ever there is a lot to be thankful for. The fire could have been so much worse and none of the guests or anyone who was helping put out the fire [that I know of] was hurt. All 25 guests staying in the cabanas were safe and thankfully very few suffered loss of luggage and travel documents. Those that did were being helped in regards to getting to the Embassy and getting everything sorted out. The guests were all given care packages and relocated to near by resorts. I heard they were sent to SunBreeze Hotel and Victoria house Resort but have yet to get confirmation on that. I have also heard I also have heard reports that Ramon’s staff will be taken care of. Biiig shout out to all of them, they really did an outstanding job in working around the clock and through the fire.

Regulation Bowling in Belize? I Could Not Have Been More Surprised at Jaguar Lanes
A bowling alley here? This seems like a scoop. And A/C? What a treat! A double scoop. This is not someone’s rec room…or some homemade set of bowling pins. This is REGULATION bowling! Four proper lanes! What the heck?!?! I was seriously shocked. For the whole evening I was shocked… Look…bowling leagues. In Belize!?!?! I have no idea what they numbers mean but this looks like the real deal!

My First Pictures of the Devastating Fire at Ramon’s Village: Small Fires Still Burn
I walked to Ramon’s at dawn…I will fill in the words as I go but here are all of the pictures. I would estimate that 50% of Ramon’s has been levelled. The sea front buildings are smoke damaged but looking pretty good. AMAZING after the fire we saw last night and the propane tanks being opened and exploding. History of Ramon’s that I snagged from Lan Sluder’s post on “The resort has quite a history. It opened in 1981 on the site of the island’s first resort, Reef Colony. Reef Colony had been set to open in late 1961 but was destroyed by Hurricane Hattie on Halloween before it opened. The Holiday Hotel then opened in 1965 as the first real resort hotel on the island. Ramon’s opened on land owned by local fishing guide Ramon Nuńez, who became the original manager of the hotel and remained associated with the resort. It was originally called Ramon’s Reef Resort. Later Ramon’s was purchased by Richard Headrick, a businessman from Mississippi, who over the years greatly expanded the resort. It had been extensively renovated over the past several years.”

Casual Luxury and Rustic-luxe are Today’s New Travel Trends
An emerging travel trend is good news for both the eco-tourism industry and the environment, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek, a Belizean eco-resort specialising in comfortable back to nature adventures. “You’re hearing words like ‘rustic-luxe’ and ‘glamping’ now, along with descriptions such as casual luxury, which we coined as our tagline back in 1981 when we starting taking guests at Chaa Creek, and while that’s obviously good news for those of us in the eco-tourism industry, it’s also great for the environment,” Lucy Fleming, Chaa Creek’s co-owner and GM said today. Ms Fleming started The Lodge at Chaa Creek with her husband Mick after farming what was then a remote parcel of land on the Macal River in Western Belize prior to the country’s independence from Great Britain in September, 1981. According to Ms Fleming, Belize’s unique growth as an eco-tourism destination was an outgrowth of the vibrant new nation’s approach to development and the fact that the pioneers of Belize’s tourism industry were members of that youthful generation concerned about environmental and social issues.

On the Road: Belize
"After joining JG Black Book and learning that I'd get the opportunity to travel to Belize, a country I'd heard and read so much about, I couldn't contain my excitement. As I prepared for my trip, I couldn't stop thinking about all the fascinating places I'd get to visit that Belize is know for, like the Great Blue Hole, ancient Mayan temples, dense tropical rainforests, mountains, rivers, jaguars, and whale sharks. With so much diversity, what could I expect other than an extremely exotic and fulfilling experience? A direct flight from Atlanta dropped me right in the heart of a destination with seemingly endless possibilities. From canoeing in deep jungle rivers and close encounters with howler monkeys to incredible seafood and world-class diving, I could not have had a more unique and memorable experience. For the adventurous and culture craving travelers, I highly recommend a visit to this amazing destination."

Get Customers Hooked
Here are six tips for turning happy customers into an army of brand advocates: 1. Turn receipts into customer feedback questionnaires. Your in-store purchase receipts are a guaranteed point-of-contact with most satisfied customers. Think about it: they’ve liked your products enough to buy them. Businesses around the world are getting wise to the opportunity to ask for customer feedback by printing details of their online surveys at the bottom, along with information about prize-draw giveaways for entering. UK’s upmarket supermarket Waitrose, chocolatier Hotel Chocolat, and kitchenware store, Lakeland all give you the opportunity to enter fantastic prize draws for submitting feedback.

“Do It Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I really wasn’t at all surprised when I got up shortly after 05.00 hours yesterday and got out onto the veranda with my coffee that there was no Internet connection. I put the loss down to repercussive effects of the fire the previous evening at Ramon’s Village Resort (a call later in the morning to the Internet provider confirmed my thoughts – cables had been damaged). I tried repeatedly ((making full use of my technical skills (sic)) to regain a connection but to no avail. Nothing for it. So I gave up trying to publish the latest edition and just go for breakfast. So I did. When I got back to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize I found that we had visitors. Tony, who is the manager for the development we are renting in, and his son were replacing the defective water heater ((we have been showering in cold water (doesn’t bother me but now for Rose …)for two days whilst awaiting the arrival of the heater from Belize City)). I really have no idea what was required but it took an absolute age (they took lunch in between starting and completion) and it wasn’t until 14.30 hours that we the got the ‘thumbs up’ from Tony that it was in and working. I did have something to do for some of the waiting time though because the Internet connection was re-established around 13.00 hours.

August 18, 2013 - August 24, 2013 Fishing Report
It’s summertime in the tropics! We had a mix-up of weather and fishing conditions this week. The “highs” and “lows” of fishing is really character building. Sometimes we can be tough on ourselves when we don’t execute a “perfect” presentation and miss a fish. And sometimes it all comes together and it takes weeks for “that first permit on fly” smile to weaken. We welcome everyone as “extended family,” here at El Pescador. As our brand is fishing – we watch as this “fishing” common denominator brings people of all personalities and ages together. I love listening to all the shared stories and congeniality fishing brings to peoples lives. All the fish are here, but it’s the stories that will last forever.

International Sources

Talking personal security in Belize
What are the main security risks to visitors? Generally it is a safe place but there have been accidents while people are doing adventure sports including diving and snorkeling. There was also a case of someone drowning while cave tubing: they were caught in a whirlpool. Home invasions and also sexual assaults including rape are on the rise. There have been quite a number of rapes and muggings in San Pedro, a popular tourist hangout. Opportunistic attacks also happen. A German national doing an internship was held up at knife point at the Blue Hole National Park. And lost passports are a regular occurrence. What are the crime trends? The criminals are definitely getting more brazen and you can’t be confident of being safe during daylight hours any more. The number of break-ins have increased for homes, business premises and vehicles. Reports are rising of vehicles being stolen to order and driven over the borders.

Top 5 Best Women Safety Smartphone Applications
Best Women Safety Smartphone Application like OnWatch, CircleOf6, Fightback, StreetSafe, Redpanicbutton for women to feel safe and secure while you are alone

Science for stoners: Here’s how pot works
Explaining the chemistry behind medical marijuana that got Sanjay Gupta and others to finally believe

5 Time-Saving Lightroom Shortcuts You Won’t Want to Forget
Lightroom is great software for organizing and editing photos. Here we tell you some great time-saving shortcuts that you don't want to miss out on.

August 29, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Ramon’s Village Resort Issues Statement: Heroic Efforts To Save Resort Praised
Ramon’s Village Resort, an iconic tourism establishment on Ambergris Caye, located on Coconut Drive has suffered major damages after a fire ravaged through its grounds. The fire started shortly around 7:52PM on Tuesday, August 27th when a building in the southern section of the resort caught fire. It took almost 2 ˝ hours before the fire was brought under control. A total of 29 of the 71 units were destroyed at the resort, which is estimated to have a real estate value of US $8 million. Neighboring structures received minimal damages and electricity to the entire island was interrupted for nearly an hour while guests from the resort and neighboring buildings were evacuated. “I was at the end of the dock walking towards the property when I saw the smoke and sparks and hurried to the area,” said Einer Gomez, Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort. “At first I thought it was across the street but I called the front desk to ask the security to run by that area. We basically got there together and we saw flames coming out from one of the huts. We also called the Fire Department to notify them about the fire.”

BTB Stands Willing & Ready to Support Guests, Staff and Management of Ramon’s Village Resort
Minister Manuel Heredia Jr, Minister of Tourism & Culture and Area Representative, Board of Directors and Staff of the Belize Tourism Board express deepest regret at this most unfortunate occurrence to hit Ramon’s Village Resort. On Tuesday, August 27th, around eight p.m., Ramon’s, one of the island’s oldest and iconic resorts, located on Coconut Drive in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was gutted by fire. While preliminary reports indicate that more than thirty cabanas, restaurant, gift shop, and other facilities were destroyed, and the island was without electricity for an hour due to an emergency power interruption which was needed to mitigate damages from the fire to nearby transmission lines, we are happy to report that there were no casualties nor injuries. All twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. Ramon's Before Photos 2The safety and well-being of these guests remain the priority and concern of Belize Tourism Board and Ramon’s Village Resort, and, as a result, we have ensured that they will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and we have provided them with care packages. Furthermore, our thoughts and support are with the employees and management of Ramon’s Village Resort, as they embark on a difficult and painful task to pick up the pieces from last night’s devastating loss. We stand ready and willing to assist them as they start rebuilding. While the resort was significantly damaged, forty of its cabanas and dive shop facility that weren’t affected by the fire are fully functional and open for business.

Purple Parrot Bar at Ramon’s Village Resort destroyed by fire
On the evening of August 27, 2013, the Original Purple Parrot Bar at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize was completely destroyed by fire along with most of the resort.Jerry Gilbreath, owner of the Purple Parrot Bar, for twenty-seven years, stated that none of his staff or guests of the bar or resort were injured. Nothing was left of the bar and contents which was built under a thatched roof. Gilbreath went on to say “I want to thank the many residents of San Pedro for quickly helping to try to save the Purple Parrot Bar along with Ramon’s Village Resort. Thousands of guests from around the world have enjoyed beverages from the world famous Purple Parrot Bar.” The Purple Parrot Bar has hosted many celebrities including Jimmy Buffett, who performed a concert there in 2000. The Purple Parrot Bar is the home of the famous “Frozen Purple Parrot” which is made up of various secret ingredients and concoctions from Belize. Gilbreath is still assessing the damage to the bar but said he hopes to be back in business soon.

Ramon’s Village Resort speaks to media about devastating fire
At approximately 8:00 PM last evening a fire was reported at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize damaging approximately thirty cabanas in addition to the resort office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and related facilities. There are no reports of injuries to any guests, Ramon’s staff members, emergency services personnel or island residents. Valiant efforts by San Pedro firefighters and police officers, Ramon’s staff members, local citizens and resort and island guests who manned fire hoses and formed bucket brigades are credited with stopping the blaze. “We cannot say thank you enough to all of the people who fought this fire and helped us save Ramon's August 27 2013 Burns-28as much of Ramon’s Village Resort as possible,” notes Ramon Nunez, General Manager of Ramon’s. “While we have suffered a tremendous loss, you can be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our guests are taken care of as we begin assessing the damage.”

Ambergris Today

Ramon's Village Resort Plans Reopening After Devastating Fire
Looking at the aftermath of the massive fire that crippled Ramon’s Village Resort on Tuesday evening, August 27, 2013, it looks like a bomb went off in the middle of the two acre property. The devastating fire destroyed approximately 30 cabanas in addition to the resort office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and related facilities. There are no reports of injuries to any guests, Ramon’s staff members, emergency services personnel or island residents. But looking beyond the ashes and destruction, Ramon’s Village Resort has announced that it will ‘Be back…Better than ever!’ and with a section of the resort remaining totally undamaged by the fire, the resort is planning to resume operations as fast as humanly possible with the 40 rooms that were untouched.

Ambergris Caye’s Iconic Ramon’s Village Resort Goes Down in Massive Fire
What took years to build and establish as an iconic and prestigious resort in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, took a couple of hours to be destroyed by a massive fire. Close to 80% of Ramon’s Village Resort which included 71 rooms under thatched-roof cabańas burned down to the ground in a massive fire that started close to 7p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Island residents were still in disbelief at the sight of the large fire that engulfed most of the resort as firefighters struggled to reach the site. Initial reports are that the fire started on the south end of the resort inside one of the rooms. Before measures could be taken to extinguish the fire, flames quickly spread through thatched roof and pimento stick bungalow-style building.

Tres Pescado Slam - Belize's Largest Fly Fishing Tournament
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, a total of 19 teams showed up in downtown San Pedro for what was to be Belize’s largest ever fly-fishing tournament - The Tres Pescados Slam Tournament. Currently in its 5th year, anglers were competing for cash prizes, giveaways and the coveted grand slam title. Day one saw cloudy and dreary skies as a tropical depression moved towards the Yucatan, but anglers remained optimistic. In the end teams prevailed and both bonefish and tarpon were landed in the tough conditions. Pesca con Mosca and team Big E took top honors both racking up 575 points. Last year’s third place team Anglers Abroad was a close second at 300. Daniel Smith, the tournaments youngest angler at 14 was in a tie for 3rd with his team the Holiday Strikers.

Travel + Leisure Names Ambergris Caye, Belize Second Best Island in Region
The Number One Island in the world just got another nod of excellence, this time by Travel + Leisure that named Ambergris Caye, Belize the second best island in Mexico, Central and South American region in their World’s Best Awards 2013. The accolades keep coming for Ambergris Caye, Belize and there is no doubt that this island has something very special to share with the world. These nominations, awards and Top Ten placements over the past years can only mean one thing – that Belize can be proud of boasting one of the top destinations in the world (#1 Island in the World by TripAdvisor readers and voters). On Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for 2013, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s 2nd position topped major tourist island destinations like Isla Mujeres, Mexico at #3, Roatan Island, Honduras at #4 and Cozumel, Mexico at #5. Besting Ambergris Caye (83.64) with a score not so far ahead was the Galapagos at #1 (86.95).

Amber Rivero is Miss Earth Belize 2013
“A girl with a mind; a woman with attitude; and, a lady with class.” - Belize City, Belize – Miss Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013. As Miss Earth Amber is the official Environmental Ambassador of Belize who will be representing her country at Miss Earth International Pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November, 2013. Belize International Pageants Limited crowned the 21 year old student of the University of Belize at ceremonies held on August 24th, 2013, At the Royal Orchid Hotel in Belize City. The previous queen, Miss Jessel Lauriano, gave her final farewell address, and passed on the torch to the newly crowned queen, Ms. Rivero who said she is proud to be able to showcase Belize’s natural wonders and make her country take its rightful place on the international scene.

Misc Belizean Sources

US Capital Energy Oil Company And Heavily Armed Belize Security Forces Confront Indigenous Q’eqchi Maya Leaders As They Traverse Their Traditional Territories Where US Capital Is Illegally Operating
SATIIM and the Maya communities’ leaders condemn the continued use of heavily armed police and BDF to intimidate SATIIM and the community leaders of the Sarstoon Temash Region. SATIIM and the Maya communities maintain that both Government of Belize and US Capital are engaged in illegal activities on Maya Customary Titled Lands. Our communities have not granted their consent for these activities and as such we declare that they are in illegal occupation. US Capital Energy and Belize Security Forces confront Maya Leaders. Photo via SATIIM We will not be told how and when to traverse our traditional lands. We will go where we decide we need to go as we have traditionally done. US Capital or the Government of Belize will not determine our movements on our traditional lands. Government of Belize and US Capital’s display of force last week Friday demonstrates the lawlessness of their intention in the region and is symbolic of what is to come later. Every oil company operating in world has its operations guarded by military and paramilitary forces and it seem to us that it will not be any different in Belize.

VIDEO: Ramon"s Village Massive Fire Destruction Aftermath
Iconic Ramon's Village Resort fire....majority of resort destroyed in fire.

Creativity Costs Less Than Alcohol
Positive thought of the day. Creativity Costs Less Than Alcohol. A quick video of Benque's mural from a while back, taken as they were doing another mural project. Thanks, Jose! "Jose Guerra Awe returns to the streets of the western towns of Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize from his new home in San Francisco, California to continue inspiring a new generation of young artists - for now.....murals! With Jo Jo, you never know what's next!!"

Teaching Assistant Belize Website
T. A. Belize is a new website that teaches people about Belize and its biodiversity. It covers everything from climate change, to energy, to mangroves, to how plastics affect an ecosystem. Thanks, Idalia Machuca, and Oceana, for the great and comprehensive information. "A website produced by Oceana Belize geared towards the education of the Belizean population on environmental topics related to Belize and the world. T.A. (Teaching Assistant) Belize is designed to: Educate the Belizean population on environmental issues affecting both Belize and the world, Provide a source of information for teachers interested in integrating these topics into their classes, Inspire Belizeans to take the actions necessary for the preservation of our environment."

BTB 2013 Village Expo
August 31st, 9am - 4pm, Memorial Park, Belize City

Jah - Your Smile
Music video by Jah performing Your Smile.

Duo busted with illegal lobster tails
Two men are in trouble with the law for allegedly being in possession of illegal lobster tails. Anthony Sutherland, 36 and Lynton Wagner, 50, were intercepted on Sunday afternoon on Coney Drive in Belize City. Police say they had in their possession a plastic bag with a large quantity of small lobster tails. Police say that Sutherland and Wagner were along with their bag full of lobster tails were handed over to the Fisheries Department. When the bag was opened and checked in the presence of the two men, police say a total of 152 lobster tails assessed at a total value of $7,600 were found. Sutherland and Wagner were jointly charged for the crime of possession of illegal lobster.

Channel 7

Flagship San Pedro Resort Ramon’s Village Gutted
Tonight, San Pedro town is still recovering after an epic blaze burned down Ramon’s Village last night. More than a popular, high occupancy resort, Ramon’s is an institution – a cornerstone of San Pedro’s tourism product since the early 80’s. But tonight, it is no more for the time being at least. Daniel Ortiz has the full story on the blaze, the aftermath, and the plan for a recovery:… Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning at around 8 o'clock, the Fire Department and employees of Ramon's Village were still trying to put out smaller fires, the remnants of the blaze which gutted the resort. 29 cabanas, the resort's office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and other related facilities went down in the fire which started at around 8 o'clock last night Einer Gomez - Manager, Ramon's Village Resort "My immediate reaction was to keep going and alert the rest of the staff which was the bar and the restaurant and asked them to bring bigger fire extinguishers to help the control the flame."

Is Greg Going?
Right now the battle over Maya land rights is at a fever pitch – and looks to be coming to a head with US Capital Energy versus SATIIM over traditional lands used to extract oil. But might an important player be leaving the furious fray? Well, maybe….two weeks ago we first heard reports that Greg Choq, the Executive Director of SATIIM was resigning and going to study law. It seemed far - fetched considering how heated things are right now with the land rights issue and the central role that Choc plays. So, last week, we asked Choq casually if it was true, and he denied it. And we thought that was the end of it. But today, an unsigned, but every lengthy email purporting to come from “young Maya and Garifuna youths from the villages around the Sarstoon Temash” claim that Choc has resigned. The 2,600 word email says, quote, “This afternoon we received news that tells us that…Greg Choc… resigned…last week. We want to publicly ask Mr. Choc why is it that he is abandoning SATIIM and the Maya communities at such a critical point…:” Now, the email is unsigned and has no names on it, and it is not the kind of thing we usually lend much credence to – because it could just be mischief making by opponents of Choq and SATIIM. But, fitting it in with what we heard from reliable sources two weeks ago, we had to take it seriously. So, we called Choq this evening, minutes after the mail came in. We told him what the mail says and he didn’t outright deny it, but said he’d have to read the mail first before he can comment. We sent him the mail and called him back in twenty minutes, and then again in thirty minutes, but got no response. We’ll definitely be following up on this tomorrow.

NTUCB Dismissed PM Position On PAC, Still Wants Reform
The Public Accounts Committee – is the issue running hot or cold? For a temperature reading we’d have to look to the social partners who would be members under the plan to re-constitute the membership of the committee: the Council of Churches has refrained from making a public statement, the Chamber gave a lukewarm response, and…the Trade Union Congress? Well, they weighed in today – and they’re still with it. The union umbrella group thrashed the response from the Prime Minister’s Office. Their statement says they reiterate their strong support for the restructuring of the PAC. They take issue with the PM’s statement that re-constituting the committee will be too costly, asking quote, “what amount of money does it take for this committee to execute its mandate?” The NTUCB also criticizes the government for proposing to have meetings without the Opposition Chair – saying it undermines true democracy. And while the standing Orders make strict rules for how the PAC should be composed – with no provision for civil society, the NTUCB notes that quote, “in the past provisions were made for constitutional changes to accommodate the nationalization of companies and the composition of the senate.”

Okeke Comes Up, Gets City Hall To Sign For Soberanis Bust
Stephen Okeke’s bust of legendary labour agitator Antonio Soberanis – it’s a major, definitive work, but the grandeur of the piece has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding it. Oddly, most of the controversy has been generated by Okeke himself, whose ego – and wallet – appeared for a while to have been mortally wounded by the City Council’s apparent indifference towards his Great Work. He wanted them to rush in and scoop up the pricey piece, but the Council has its own pace, and after weeks of negotiation on a final price, they finally got around to signing a contract yesterday. It is news because it pushes back the opening of the park – which was planned for tomorrow – to the 19th of September. During that time, the bust will be installed and paid for. The Mayor told us how they arrived at a compromise:… Darrell Bradely – Mayor of Belize City "Yesterday I signed an agreement with Mr. Okeke for the purchasing of the bust and we're buying the bust from him for $25,000 and we are closing this deal on the 6th of September which is next week Friday. I am also pleased to report that we're not spending public funds on this bust, that's monies that have been fully donated to the City Council and we had a lot of interest from people wanting to contribute to the acquisition of the bust.

Mayor Says He Didn’t Call the Cops On Downtown Cabbies
And while we had the mayor on the subject of the park – we had to ask about the Albert Street Taxi Union. They are still in negotiation with City Hall to get more parking slots – but this morning the cabbies told us that cops were sent out there to intimidate them. We asked the mayor, “what’s up with that?” Mayor Darrell Bradley "I got a briefing yesterday evening that they were some overtures indicating that there may be some kind of disturbance in that area because of some of the works that we are doing in that area. I don't know of what situations would have occurred this morning but if the police went out there, it must have been a result of information that they would have received. In terms of briefing us - the taxi persons had expressed dissatisfaction because admittedly if you have 13 spots and that's cut down then there would be some concern and I think that those police officers would have gone out there as a deterrent to make sure that whatever is going on, accords with the law and that people are not being unruly. We have to recognize the right that the taxi men have to use that space but the right has to also be balanced with the use of other people. The downtown area is a very small area, the streets are very narrow - you can't have a situation where you have one taxi station there and then right next to them in front of Brodie's you have another taxi station. So the entire area is being taken up by taxi parking which is one of the concerns that we have a difference. They will be and they have to be given spaces in front of the park but in terms of the logistics and the detail - we have to work that out to ensure that we recognize the rights of people who visit that area and who want to park there also."

West and Gaynair Honoured For Honesty
Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West gained international acclaim at the Gold Cup in July when they blew the whistle on a match fixer who was trying to induce them to throw the game against the US. Since then, the national team players have received all kinds of honors and recognition, culminating in a paid trip to the see the Gold Cup Final as guests of the tournament organizers, CONCACAF. Today in Belmopan, the National Olympic Commission under the patronage of the Governor General held a ceremony to give West and Gaynair the first ever Gilmore Hinkson Fair Play Trophy. Hinkson was an exemplary Belizean sporting official – and the Olympic committee says it is his sense of fair play that West and Gaynair best epitomize. Hilly Martinez - President, National Olympic Commission "This is the first time this trophy is being awarded. I do hope that these forwards Ian and Woodrow - you guys will be a role character in the future of all young athletes." Sir.Colville Young - Governor General of Belize "I am honored, I am proud to join hundreds of thousands of Belizeans in the United States and particularly in Belize to pay tribute to the Jaguar Football Team that took the name, the flag and the anthem of Belize to the international scene. We did not win but we excelled in sportsmanship and even if we did not win, I want to remind you that every evening the sun goes down, but the next morning it rises again. Belize will have the opportunity to excel to defeat the world."

King Gets Gaynair Leased Land, Promise Of a Free Title
Ian Gaynair had to rush out of that ceremony to make it to a very special meeting in Belize City. At 11:30, UDP Lake-I Representative Mark King was having a small ceremony to hand over a lease for a parcel of land in Lake Independence. The background to this is that a few weeks ago, news came out that Gaynair, who scored the only goal for Belize in the Gold Cup, had lost the lease on a parcel of land he’d gotten in Lake-I in 2006. Fingers were immediately pointed at his current area representative Mark King, who denied any involvement in that. It turns out that Gaynair’s lease had lapsed some time before, and even as he was working the land – a woman from Corozal had gotten the lease, and was in process to get a title. That story has the usual convolutions of land transactions gone wrong, but King stepped up to make things right. Today he handed Gaynair a new lease for a new parcel. 7news was there- Hon. Mark King - Area Representative "I found out about Mr. Gaynair's case via KREM when they allegedly trying to indicate that I was the area rep, when I wasn't - as a matter of fact it was Cordel Hyde who was the elected area rep when this land was seen to be taken away, they should have known of it. What I particularly did is that I immediately contacted the land department, found out the situation and I don't talk too much - I will get the action going. I was very sad to know that they were using Mr. Gaynair as a political football in this thing - he's a national player and he should be respected and out of that I found the dignity to go to the Land's Department and find out the situation and ensure that under my land program - that he got back a piece of land."

A “Mobile Peace Caravan” For Cops?
The Police Department got a major donation today from the Taiwanese Government. It’s a mobile command center, which, in a chintzy little touch is called a Mobile Peace Caravan. Ok, “Peace Caravan” might be a little too cute, but the new unit will play a major, strategic role for police. The ambassador explained how it will help police string up gangsters:… H.E. David Wu - Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize "The mobile command center will be integral to identify target and interdict major criminal gangsters." ACP Miguel Segura - Commander, Eastern Division "This peace caravan will be able to be utilized for community policing projects, where there's a problem then police will intervene in whatever projects to bring the community together - it will be done. Also for law enforcement project, we intend to use it to go where the problem is, to move in the area and bring it to normalcy. This peace caravan can be used in many events, for example September celebrations coming up - we'll use it as a forward command center where we can deploy our resources and have it on time and as you can see it is equipped, it has a bathroom, area where they can rest and it's an area where we can command and control the resources on the spot."

NICH Celebrates First Decade
It’s seems hard to believe now, but ten years ago, if you said the word “NICH,”, you’d get a response like “What?” Indeed, it’s an odd little word, and in 2003, no one knew for sure what it meant, or worse, how to pronounce it – a lot of times people said “neesh” – as if it was French. But in the past decade, NICH, The National Institute For Culture And History has become a household name; the combined institutes of creative arts, institute of archaeology, and institute for social and cultural research appear on the news almost weekly – all under the NICH Umbrella. In fact, NICH has become so omnipresent, that it’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t there. Today, the institution celebrated its 10th anniversary with a ceremony, luncheon and presentation of a culture policy. President Dianne Haylock referred vaguely to the vision of the framers of the NICH Act in 1999:… Dianne Haylock - President, NICH "So while I cannot speak directly for the framers of the NICH legislation which was done in 1999, a clear and lasting impression is provided in its objects and guiding principles that culture should be afforded a much higher priority on the National Agenda. With the establishment of NICH, one could imagine culture emerging from a place of obscurity to one of centrally in the social economic development of this nation. With this mandate, one could envision NICH being the match to set a fire at culture rebirth across the length and berth of Belize; NICH igniting a cultural renaissance. Priot to NICH and I speak as an artist and cultural worker myself - culture, our tangible and intangible heritage were at best treated as secondary or peripheral appendages to more important ministries but comparable resources -meaning very little - to execute necessary actions in the sector. Artist and culture workers were to a large extent, forgotten or invisible species - that is until they were needed to perform for visiting dignitaries or occasionally requred to represent Belize abroad.

Allegedly Shady House-sitters Turn Into Jailbirds
Tonight, 19 year-old Yasmin Dominguez and 24 year-old Wilhem Ramos are at prison tonight after they were taken to court for allegedly stealing a bike and a video game. According to police, Ramos was left in charge of Charles Domingo’s house on Jane Usher Boulevard, but instead of house-sitting, he allegedly convinced Dominguez and a 17 year-old to steal an Xbox, 5 gaming CD’s, a beach cruiser bicycle and a weed cutter. Domingo reported the theft to police, who investigated and charged all 3 men with theft and burglary. They were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Clive Lino where they pleaded not guilty.

What’s City Hall Got To Do With a high School Science Lab?
We know the Mayor loves to cement-pave streets, but what’s he doing fixing up a science lab? That’s what we asked today when the Council unveiled a science lab at Saint Catherine’s Academy. Now we know the City Council manifesto had all sorts of goodies in there, but we didn’t see any science labs – so we asked the Mayor to explain:…. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "The refurbished lab is from floor to ceiling meaning that everything in that lab has been refurbished. Tiling the floors, refurbishing the lighting facilities, installing new fans because I was a student once and I know how hot it can get in your classes. Painting all the walls, refurbishing the surfaces for the tables in the labs, refurbishing the chairs - everything was renovated. We are donating this refurbished lab to St. Catherine's, but the gift that St. Catherine's Academy for so long has given to our country and to the world is tremendous."

Getter Better At Managing the Mentally Ill
The Belize City Resource Center for the homeless and mentally ill on Vernon Street is finally up and running. But, the center’s important work goes largely overlooked. And that’s why they had an Open House today – we visited and found out more:… Joyce Ellis - Administrator, Belize City Resource Center "What we want the public to know about the center is that yes it is up and running, we cater for the mentally ill, the homeless and the elderly. We also have them interact on a daily basis - what we do here is that they get a hot meal and they also get to take a shower and involved in certain therapeutic activities that will help them better cope with their situation. At present we have a total of 120 participants registered to the center but we aim to do a 150. On a daily basis we feed an average of 42 participants for the day, the center is a drop-in center meaning that you can only come and have a hot meal, a change of clothes and stay here for a couple hours a day and then you have to leave; we don't have a residential facility. As much as you see them on the street like that, they are functional - they can read, they can reason and if given the right opportunity they can bounce back and be productive in our society."

3 X 3 Ballers To Washington
Last year in October, Belize’s National U-18 3 by 3 Basketball Team shocked the world when they beat China at the Three on Three World Basketball Championships in Spain. And now, they are headed to Washington DC on Friday to participate in the FIBA Americas 3x3 Championship. And the reason, that team Belize is being given this opportunity is because the teams which went to Spain did very well. This coupled with numerous 3x3 events held locally, Belize has earned a spot to participate in the tournament in DC, as well as the U-18 3x3 World Championship to be held in Indonesia at the end of September. Last year, Team Belize got recognition in the sport for beating China, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

Channel 5

Massive Fire Destroys Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro
Ramon’s Village Resort is a landmark in the prime tourism destination of San Pedro, but a huge fire on Tuesday night swept through the iconic resort destroying almost fifty percent [...]

Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Says BTB Is Assisting International Guests
Earlier today, we caught up with the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr., a resident of San Pedro Town. Heredia Junior commented on the huge loss to tourism and the [...]

Minister Mark King gives back land to Jaguar, Ian Gaynair
Less than two weeks ago celebrated Belize Jaguar defensive star Ian ‘Yellow’ Gaynair discovered that he had been stripped of his piece of the jewel. Years ago, Gaynair had been [...]

The N.T.U.C.B. lashes back at G.O.B.’s refusal of PAC restructuring
On Tuesday, the People’s United Party issued a declaration condemning government’s refusal to even consider the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee. It was in response to a release from [...]

NICH Celebrates Ten Years of Culture And History in Belize
A decade after it was established, the National Institute of Culture and History, is redefining itself. At the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, NICH unveiled a new culture policy [...]

Jaguars bestowed with Gilmore Henkson trophy
Goleador Woodrow West and midfielder Ian Gaynair, star players on the Belize Jaguars, were today bestowed with the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy for their honesty and patriotism during their [...]

Mexican Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Belize/Mexico Border Is Stable
On Sunday a high-level delegation from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry visited Belize. That delegation included Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade and his Vice-Minister Vanessa Rubio. As far as [...]

Mexican Vice-Minister Vanessa Rubio Talks Business With Belize
The fact-finding mission along the border was important to future development of both nations. But even more important than that were the discussions held with Minister Wilfred Elrington. The focus [...]

Meeting To Be Held Friday By Mexican Officials To Discuss Belize City Center Project
And one area of discussion which will be of particular interest to Belizeans is the Belize City Center. That sporting facility was declared unsafe for public gatherings in August 2010. [...]

Belize Police Department Receives Mobile Command Center from Taiwan Government
Today, the top brass of the Police Department gathered at the Queen Street compound for a historic donation, a first of its kind in Belize. Thanks to the government of [...]

Guatemalan Fisherman Illegally Fishing In Blue Hole
A Guatemalan fisherman pleaded guilty to Illegal Fishing in the Blue Hole Natural Monument when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Forty-six year old Elias Chavez was arraigned [...]

Jacqueline Bermudez Charged With Wounding
Magistrate Hamilton also dealt with the case of a woman who works as a Data Entry Clerk. Jacqueline Bermudez, a resident of Ben Bow Street, was arraigned in the Belize [...]

Be The Next Superstar Winner Chosen, Finale Highlights
There’s a new Superstar tonight. After grueling weeks of performances at the Bliss, and tough competition among talented performances, Be the Next Superstar Season Two closed on Tuesday night with [...]


Newly Elected Mexican President Plans To Deepen Relations with Belize
Mexico was one of the first countries to give support to Belize in its quest for political independence. Following that Mexico was the second country to name an ambassador to Belize after Belize became independent. It’s a long friendly relationship that now the new Mexican president intends to expand. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING The relationships between both countries has been close even before Belize was recognized as a sovereign state but according to President Enrique Pena Nieto, there is more closeness needed in the already existing relation. Last Sunday his Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Antonio Meade paid a quick visit to Belize. Today we spoke with Mexican undersecretary for Latina America and the Caribbean Vanessa Rubio. VANESSA RUBIO “If Belize is prosperous, if Belize grows, if Belize has a better prospect for the future then that is always something that will be a positive impact to Mexico.”

Magistrate Renders 10K Fine for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-five year old Brian Smith, a resident of Flamboyant Street, was fined $10,000 today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for drug trafficking. Smith was ordered to pay the fine by January 31, 2014. If he defaults on payment he will serve three years. But although Smith was not given a custodial sentence he was not freed because he is serving time for unpaid court fines. On July 31, 2012, the police were on mobile patrol on Flamboyant Street when they saw Smith, who was walking on the street, throw a plastic bag in a drain. When the police retrieved the bag and opened it they found that it contained 137 grams of cannabis. As a result, Smith was taken into custody and charged. Smith had pled not guilty to the charge, but he changed his plea to guilty during the middle of the trial.

Fined Initially for Burglary; Court of Appeal Renders Seven Year Incarceration
Forty-two year old Kent Smith, who was fined one thousand dollars by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of burglarizing the house of Belize Court of Appeal president Justice Manuel Sosa, was sentenced to seven years today by Justice Adolph Lucas, for the same offence. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, had appealed the sentence of Chief Magistrate Smith and at the appeal hearing today Justice Lucas ruled that Chief Magistrate Smith did not take into consideration that Smith had one previous conviction for dishonesty when she was considering the sentence. Smith had burglarized Justice Sosa’s house at 29 Southern Foreshore. Another man, Rudolph Mckoy, was charged jointly with him, but Mckoy absconded before he could be brought to trial.

Five Adults and A Minor Arraigned on Firearm and Ammunition Charges
Six persons, one of them a 16 year old minor, were charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared today in the court of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. The adults are 36 year old Ian Craig, 19 year old Keon Lacayo, 21 year old Gilbert Wade, 35 year old Ian Myers and 30 year old Michael Anderson. They pled not guilty to the charges. They were remanded into custody until September 12. The incident occurred yesterday. The police, members of the GSU, went to Anderson’s house, located on Guerrero Street, and when they searched it they found a point 38 revolver with six rounds of ammunition stuck in the side of the house.

A Decade of Service – National Institute for Culture History
Igniting a Cultural Renaissance is the theme with which the National Institute for Culture and History is celebrating its tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations there was an industry presentation at which the Ministry of Tourism and culture joined hands with NICH. At the presentation, Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia addressed the gathering and spoke of the accomplishments of NICH throughout its existence. MANUEL HEREDIA, Minister of Tourism and Culture “This celebration of our tenth anniversary of NICH, affords us the opportunity to map out our future plans in this important sub sector. It allows us to take stock of how successful we have been in marrying tourism to culture and ensuring that our cultural heritage provides tangible benefits to those who wish to share their talents, skills and unique way of life.” President of NICH Diane Haylock reflected on the many years of the institution’s contribution DIANE HAYLOCK, President, NICH “Ten years is not a very long time to achieve the kind of transformation required in this new approach to cultural development in Belize but a strong and dynamic foundation has been established in the enactment of NICH in which we are all entrusted d to position culture in its rightful place.”

Popular Tourism Resort Goes Up in Flames
A fire shortly after eight o’clock last night destroyed a portion of Ramon’s Village Resort on Ambergris Caye. (VO STARTS) Police say when they arrived on the scene they saw that the two acre resort was engulfed in flames. As a result 28 units including laundry room, kitchen, gift shop, bar, office and three store rooms were completely destroyed. All structures are of Pimento, hard wood, sheet-rock casing and thatch roof. Initial investigation revealed that the fire originated in the roof top of one of the units rapidly spread to the other units. The cause of fire is unknown at this time. The resort is valued at eight million US dollars. The resort is owned by US national Richard Hedrick but managed by 47-year-old Belizean Einer Gomez of San Pedro Town. The property is insured. Minister of Tourism and Culture and area representative Manuel Heredia along with the Belize Tourism Board have expressed their regret at the destruction caused by the fire. All twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. The BTB says they have ensured that the guests will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and they have been provided with care packages. While the resort was significantly damaged, forty of its cabanas and dive shop facility were not affected by the fire and are fully functional and open for business. Ramon’s Village Resort is one of the oldest resorts on the island and has been in operation since 1982. In 2002, Ramon’s was named Hotel of Year at the BTB’s Annual Tourism Awards. In October 2010, founder of the resort, Ramon Nunez, was awarded with BTB’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution of over forty years to the tourism industry. We will have more on last night’s fire in our subsequent newscast.


OWTC To Light Up The Sky For 20th Of September Night
Belize’s Independence Day is approaching with three weeks of activities leading up to the jewels 32nd birthday. The month of Septembers proves to b e a time when Belizeans, of all ages; young, middle-aged and senior citizens all take pride in celebrating Belize. People all over the country gather at public venues to enjoy entertaining and educational performances in honor of two very important national holidays, the Battle of St. George's Caye Day celebrated on September 10th and Independence Day honored on September 21st. Without a doubt Orange Walk is well known for its September celebrations activities and this year won’t be the exception. The Orange Walk Town Council has a long list of events planned for the month leading up to the 21st. The celebrations will officially be declared open on Saturday with Fiesta F.M’s 9th Anniversary to be held at the Fort Cairns Market Plaza. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “There after we move into other activities such as the Rock Concert, which will be held on the 14th of September here at the Fort Carns’ Market but before I get there I must mention the Orange Walk Central Drum-fette as well on the twelve of September that will also be happening here on Arthur Street. The Rock concert we are seeing here seven bands participating, two from Chetumal and five locals such as Abraxus and the others bands that we have, Legacy after the 14th of September we prepare for a National Service Day which is on the 15th and on the 19th September we have a National Heroes day in commemoration of the Rt. Honorable George Cadle Price and on that day we would like to also honor some of our leaders in our community, certain teachers.”

Two Of Belize's Best Awarded The Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy
It’s been more than a month since Team Jaguars came back from participating in the Gold Cup Tournament in the United States and since then not much has been heard about the team other than, they have not been paid. Well tonight, they are in the spotlight once again, or at least two of the players are. Ian Gaynor and Woodrow Wilson West were presented with the “Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy” today in Belmopan. The Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission with the consent of Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, in concurrence with His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Patron of the Belize Olympic Committee presented the trophy to both Belizean players for their outstanding honesty & patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup. Their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee. The Gilmore Henkson Trophy was established by the Belize Olympic Committee in memory of Mr. Gilmore Henkson who was a diligent and excellent secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years. He was an outstanding Football, Softball & Cricket player.

Meet To Greet To Reduce Crime
Today over 19 police officers from the Corozal Police Department hit the streets of town knocking from door to door. But this time the cops were not in search of a criminal. The formation took the initiative of visiting residents of different areas across town with the purpose of making Corozal a safer place to live in by reducing crime. O.C Andrew Ramirez.– Corozal Police Department “The things is what we refer to meet and greet, we need to improve our services in terms to better communication, better unity with the community, we are heading into the September celebrations and oversee the September celebration has its own type of crime that normally increases, so we are here house to house and presently in the Altamira area and my deputy Mr Arzu is in the San Antonio Skeleton town area but we have been speaking to people that are residents and we are getting some very good feedback from them and it has been first of its kind here in the Corozal for this year and want for this to be done every two weeks I want to meet with the community so then I will have that opportunity to meet with each individual and a household.”

Orange Walk Town Hall Re-painted Just In Time For September Celebrations
If you live in Orange Walk Town there is a high probability that by now you have noticed that the Orange Walk Town Hall is receiving a facelift. With funds obtained from Fiesta Rama the council is re-painting the entire building just in time for the September Celebrations. While you might think that since the council is PUP, the colors of the party, blue and white is being used to paint the building, think again. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, the Town Hall is painted in colors that will promote the go green initiative. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “Some may ask the question why green? Why that colour? One let me point out that the Orange Walk colours are green and yellow and so we decided to keep it into that colour that depicts the town at the same time as you noticed our park we are already being transforming that into a more green environment and with the development of the park later on this year it will just synchronize with each other. On the ceiling of the building we had initially decided to put the green but we will be changing that to white so that it gives some illumination at night so that there will be a three colour mix there is a lighter shade of green and a little darker green and there will a white to keep a balance along with it. The last time I think I gave an interview I mention that it has cost us less than about four to five thousand dollars it is costing us a little over five thousand dollars to do this project and we are very happy, we got a private contractor to work on it for us while we continue to do work in cooperation to the September celebrations.”

Was Oscar Castaneda Knocked Down? Police Investigate
On Wednesday August 21st, 2013, 45 year old Oscar Gustavo Castaneda, a resident of San Narciso Village, Corozal was found lying in the middle of the Philip Goldson Highway suffering from injuries to the left hand and back of the head. He was assisted by 35 year old Belizean teacher of San Narciso Village, Noel Quetzal. Castaneda was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital from where he discharged himself. On Thursday he was once again taken to the Corozal Hospital and later transferred to the KHMH where he died on Sunday at around 9:00 in the morning. While Police suspect that Castaneda was the victim of a traffic accident that is yet to be ascertained. What we do know though, is that a post mortem examination reveled that Castaneda died as a result of Ventricular Bilateral Hemorrhage due to skull Trauma.

Ministry Of Tourism Relocates Guest OF Ramon's Village Resort
The untimely fire which gutted two thirds of Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Town and completely destroyed approximately thirty units along with the restaurant, gift shop, and other major facilities, has caused mixed emotions in both the local and international tourism community. Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Junior, Board of Directors and Staff of the Belize Tourism Board sent out a release today expressing their deepest regret at this most unfortunate occurrence. At around 8:00pm one of the island’s oldest and prestigious resorts was hit with stormy blaze. In his statement released today Minister Herredia confirmed that all twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. “The safety and well-being of these guests remain the priority and concern of the Belize Tourism Board and Ramon’s Village Resort, and, as a result, we have ensured that they will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and we have provided them with care packages.” stated Herredia. Furthermore, Herredia reaffirmed Governments commitment to assist employees and the management of Ramon’s Village Resort, in anyway possible as work towards restoring the resort commences.

The Rebuilding Of Ramon's Village Resort Commences
As work to restore the iconic resort commences after it was reduced to rubble, management issued a statement today thanking those who assisted them to control the fire and prevent what could have been a catastrophe with the loss of life. The release states, “Valiant efforts by San Pedro fire-fighters and police officers, Ramon’s staff members, local citizens and resort and island guests who manned fire hoses and formed bucket brigades are credited with stopping the blaze.” “We cannot say thank you enough to all of the people who fought this fire and helped us save as much of Ramon’s Village Resort as possible,” said Ramon Nunez, General Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort. “While we have suffered a tremendous loss, you can be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our guests are taken care of as we begin assessing the damage.” Nunez added.

Iconic Ramon's Village Resort Swallowed By Flames
Millions of dollars went up in smoke last night in San Pedro as one of the major resorts on the island was gutted by fire. Ramon’s Village Resort located on Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town, considered one of the islands top end resorts, famous for its structure made of pimento, hardwood, sheet-rock casing, and thatch roof was ravished by flames at around 8:00pm. It took almost 2 ˝ hours before the fire was brought under control, at which time about 2/3 of the resort was completely destroyed. Neighboring structures received damage and electricity to the entire island was interrupted for nearly an hour. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Lush vegetation, Mayan influence, Tahitian elements, delicious food, wonderful people, excellent service, great amenities, and comfortable suites, this were all representatives of Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Town. Ranked eighteenth out of the fifty four hotels in the island, Ramon’s Village Resort was undoubtedly one of Belize’s best tourist attractions. But all of that came to an end yesterday when Police received a disturbing call that the resort was under fire. The San Pedro Fire Department responded quickly only to find themselves with unforeseen challenges. Due to major street rehabilitations on a portion of Coconut Drive, where the resort is located, the fire department was unable to acquire easy access to the fire. In addition, they also experienced low water pressure from the fire hydrants since the electricity was cut off by BEL at around 8:30pm to mitigate damages from the fire within close proximity to the transmission line.


PUP sign declaration for reform of the PAC
The Hon. Julius Espat’s bid to restructure the Public Accounts Committee was recently dismissed in the last Sitting of the House of Representatives and subsequently rejected by Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow, as well as the Cabinet. Mr Espat, who Chairs the committee, vowed...

Body of 7 year old Chelsea Smith has been found
The body of 7 year old Chelsea Smith has been found. Chelsea Smith drowned in the waters of the Belize River on Sunday morning, while with her mother, Pamela Oliveira. Ms Oliveira told us that she and her family were in Isabella Bank attending...

SATIIM claims GOB and U.S. Capital Energy are illegal occupying Maya lands
On Friday we brought you the story of a confrontation between police and Maya community leaders as well as park rangers for the Sarstoon Temash National Park, most recently co-managed by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). The indigenous organization said the officers...

Two teenage boys detained after allegedly attacking their father
Two teenage boys were detained by Police after allegedly attacking their father. The 61 year old taxi man told Police that on Monday afternoon, he parked his vehicle in front of his house and went upstairs where his 13 year old son asked him when will he get his...

Man dies after hit and run
A man has died and it is believed that he was the victim of a hit and run situation. Last week Wednesday, Oscar Gustavo Castaneda was found lying in the middle of the Phillip Goldson Highway between miles 72 and 73. He was suffering from a cut wound on...

PG Magistate’s Court damaged by fire
Authorities in Punta Gorda are investigating the circumstances which led to the partial destruction of the local Magistrate Court. While on patrol early Monday morning, officers stumbled upon a raging fire on the property. The estimated loss is reported to be some thirty thousand...

PUP Leader comments on aspiring Standard Bearers for 2017
At Tuesday morning’s presentation held by the People’s United Party, the press got a chance to discuss other pending matters with Leader the Hon. Francis Fonseca. The first is the recent news that former area representative in Cayo Central, Daniel Silva, is throwing his hat in the political...

Dr. Theodore Aranda comments on Commerce Bight Port on “Rise and Shine”
Dr. Theodore Aranda is no stranger to Belize as it pertains to the political arena and social and economic development. His political strives have been ongoing for over 50 years beginning with the UDP in 1974. However, he left the party in 1982 and established the Christian Democratic...

PUP sends letter to House Speaker about August 7th incident
On Tuesday the People’s United Party released a letter from two former speakers of the House of Representatives, Sylvia Flores and Elizabeth Zabaneh, to current speaker Michael Peyrefitte, in response to the events of August 7 in the House of Representatives. The women...

Mexican delegation from Chetumal visits Belize City
On Monday morning a delegation from the city of Chetumal, led by newly elected municipal president Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui , visited Belize to cement formal relations with Belize City and the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Following the formal program, we asked the Mayors what will be...

Streets in Belize City heavily flooded over weekend
The Belize City Council boasts of completing 86 streets under the Municipal Bond-funded infrastructure program. But after a weekend of heavy rains with the passage of a weather system, many of the streets were heavily flooded. Mayor Darrell Bradley told reporters on Monday that the Council has not had...

New Methodist High School opens in Belmopan
There is a new high school in Belmopan. The Belmopan Methodist High School opened its doors on Monday, although it is still under major construction. There we met with the Principal of the new institution, Maureen Cayetano. Ms Cayetano explained to us the need for another High School in...

Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013
Miss Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013. As Miss Earth, Amber is the official Environmental Ambassador of Belize who will be representing her country at Miss Earth International Pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November, 2013. Belize International Pageants Limited crowned the...

Kim Simplis Barrow on four-day visit to Taiwan
The office of Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow confirmed on Tuesday that she has left on a visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for a four-day visit. Official details are not forthcoming but according to the China Post website, the visit is to “learn...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Meet the Crocodile Birdman of Caye Caulker
Matthew Sandoval is one of the more colorful kiddie personalities on the island of Caye Caulker. He is the editor behind the PicDaily facebook site, which posts pictures of and around Caye Caulker daily. Matthew has now ventured into making hilarious videos of the island’s flora and fauna. Here is his first video. What do you think? At the very least, the kids’ hilarious!


Education in Belize: Are Graduates Prepared Today and Students Being Prepared for Tomorrow?
Our most precious resource, whether in Belize or anywhere else throughout the world, will always be our children! The rapidly growing tourism industry in Belize boasts the Caribbean Sea and Barrier Reef, many Maya ruins, our diverse cultures living side by side, an exotic rain forest, and many other attractions, and is currently one of the top sources of revenue for our government. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee whatsoever that tourism in Belize will always flourish or produce continuous revenue to the country. Our sugar, timber, citrus, and other agricultural industries (perhaps oil?) may also be top money earners for the country; but these industries too may decline or crash at any time. However, our children from yesterday, today and tomorrow have limitless potential to take a tiny country like Belize above and beyond anyone’s wildest dreams or expectations. Yet, with this basic concept in mind, we are not investing in our children (yesterday and today), specifically, in their Education. The percentage of time and money spent on/being invested in our children’s Education today, whether in Belize and throughout the Third World (underdeveloped and developing countries) is not anywhere near where it should be – nowhere even close to where it should be. Why?

Tragic Fire at Ramon’s Village
It’s not easy to find the words to describe the tragedy if last nights fire at Ramon’s Village Resort. We had been at Charlie’s wake for a while and suddenly Paul came through the door with a horrified look on his face and said “Ramon’s is on fire.”A few uf us ran out the door and saw the sky to the north was filled with sparks that were blowing south west. Lara, Phil Andy and I immediately headed towards the main road. There was already a large crowd gathered when we hit island supermarket and you could see big flames. We lost track of Lara right after she said she was going to with Melody and Davin to check on Dixie. Phil Andy and I cut through Island Academy and over to the beach, as we drew closer to the fire, my stomach sank. The heat was strong and the crackling sound loud, I have never felt so helpless in my whole life. The flames had to be at least30 feet high at their peak, homes and businesses as far south as Pedro’s Hotel were wetting down their buildings and yards, with the amount of sparks flying no one was taking any chances. Thankfully I have not heard any reports of serious injuries which is a miracle considering how bad the fire was.

On the Humanitarian Road Again with Belize’s First Lady
Like a humanitarian version of the Eveready Bunny, Belize’s First Lady, the indefatigable Kim Simplis Barrow, just never seems to wind down. Having recently returned from a trip to the UK where she used her diplomatic expertise to create stronger ties with London children’s hospital wards while putting her social skills to good use in organising and hosting a successful fund raiser for paediatric care in Belize, Ms Simplis Barrow is again on the road – this time on a trip to the other side of the planet. According to the China Post and Focus Taiwan News Channel, Ms Simplis Barrow is on a fact finding mission to learn more about how Taiwanese charity groups care for disadvantaged groups while exploring further avenues for cooperation on humanitarian aid. During the August 27 to September 1st trip, Ms Simplis Barrow will visit the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation in Taipei, which cares for people who are in vegetative state as well as the National Taiwan University Children Hospital and Wenshan School of Special Education.

A sadness came over me last night as I watched the photos and posts begin to flood my timeline—Ramon’s Village, one of the leading resorts on the tourism mecca of Belize—San Pedro, Ambergris Caye—was ablaze. This morning, I saw some new photos—some photos that brought a feeling of pride. These photos really tugged at my heart as I saw how the San Pedro community came together to prevent as much damage as they could. I thought back on the “old Belize” and the “luk out fi yuh nayba” (look out for your neighbor) mentality we grew up knowing. Just last week I said to a friend that I don’t think that mentality was ever as BIG as what it could be. Then I see things like this and I am so encouraged. I hope this one act can spark that spirit that will begin to restore the culture we have been losing. Sometimes we don’t even realize how concerned we are with ourselves and our needs. There are so many opportunities to be a blessing and they don’t have to be as big as this one. So see how you can look out for your neighbor today in a simple act of kindness.

“Fire” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A really late publishing of what should have been Wednesday’s edition but Tuesday wasn’t by any means a normal day and nor will this edition be a normal diet of how I spent my morning before heading off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Why? Well on Tuesday evening Ramon’s Village Resort was struck by a fire. Rose and I had gone to Pedro’s Hotel for the wake that Peter Lawrence (aka Pedro) was holding to say goodbye to his beloved dog Charlie and arrived there around 18.40 hours. It started off as a very enjoyable night with everyone reminiscing about Charlie. Things changed dramatically, however, shortly after 20.00 hours when someone came in to the bar in a state of real concern. There was a fire north of Pedro’s Hotel on the ocean side. Everyone rushed outside and very soon it became apparent that it was Ramon’s Village Resort that was on fire. Some of those present immediately left to go to the scene. Those of us left behind grabbed buckets to take water from the swimming pool to soak the palapa in the area in front of the bar because embers from the fire were heading our way. The hotel was considered ‘safe’ because although constructed of wood the external walls are covered with placement boards. The palapa though was ‘high risk’.

1 Week and so much to say!!!
“Loved our stay at Tom Owen’s Island. The staff was amazing, and always appeared to enjoy their job. They provided many enjoyable things to do, like lion fish dissection, fish filleting, coconut eating, fishing, free diving, bon fires, live music, and more. We were never bored. Adrienne did a fabulous job at providing meals and snacks. Even the presentation was nice. We took the Advanced Open Water course, and learned way more than expected. I very much enjoyed learning about the fish and coral and stuff. Went snorkeling around the island and had a great time. Loved the freedom to move about and do whatever felt right at the time, the freedom to roam and snorkel whenever I wanted, the food, and the people were all memorable. Most of all, however, I loved the dives. The one we took with Yogi was my favorite. He pointed out sharks, eels, turtles, and all sorts of life I’d never see if he didn’t reveal it. I learned that boat diving is far better than shore diving—at least for me, it was. “ Rowena Portch August 2013

International Sources

Roberts Grove Ltd., Placencia, Belize, along with the TradeWinds Group, is pleased to announce the relocation of the TradeWinds Belize yacht base to Robert’s Grove Marina Residence in Seine Bight. The partnership of TradeWinds Belize and Roberts Grove Ltd. will afford TradeWinds guests easy access to their chartered yacht as well as the Roberts Grove Beach Resort, its three restaurants, gift shop, dive shop and marina. The relocation will also streamline operations for TradeWinds Belize, including Roberts Grove Ltd. associates improving provisioning processes. Robert’s Grove Beach Resort is a beautifully appointed Hacienda-style Belize beach resort nestled on 22 acres of the finest white sand beach in Placencia Belize. Roberts Grove Ltd. features the only fully operational marina on the Placencia peninsula. The services available and accessibility offered by the marina at Roberts Grove Ltd. are two of the main reasons Tradewinds chose Roberts Grove as its base for Belize operations.

John McAfee Scandalizes Again: New Video
Tech industry bad boy John McAfee is at it again and this time it’s…well, it’s just not as pretty. As a follow-on to the infamous (and very NSFW) guns-and-girls video lampooning press characterizations of his life in the last few years, McAfee has released a new video called John McAfee Tells All/Raw. The new video perhaps disappointingly attempts to answer “popular questions” about his life and lifestyle, including “Did you shoot your neighbor in Belize?” “Did you manufacture illegal drugs?” and “Did you really live with seven women…at once?” With a cast that includes many of the same Portland, Oregon-area dancers who graced his first video, McAfee launches into a marginally different story about his life on an exclusive island off the coast of Belize where, a year ago, a neighbor was found dead in his own home of a gunshot wound. In addition, McAfee uses the video to challenge viewers to use green-screen versions of a yet-unreleased video originally titled The McAfee School of Badass “in any manner you see fit” to create their own lampoon versions of his production. McAfee had said in an earlier exclusive interview that he intended to present The McAfee School of Badass as a contest rather than a simple challenge, but there was no reference to a contest or prize in the latest production.

August 28, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Massive fire destroys Ramon’s Village Resort
Ramon’s Village Resort, an iconic tourism institution on Ambergris Caye, located on Coconut Drive, has suffered major damages after a fire ravaged through its grounds. The fire started shortly around 8PM on Tuesday night, August 27th when a building in the southern section of the resort caught fire. It took almost 2 ˝ hours before the fire was brought under control, at which time about 2/3 of the resort was completely destroyed. Neighboring structures received damage and electricity to the entire island was interrupted for nearly an hour. Up to news time, the estimated loss is unknown as the investigation is yet in its early stage. Last year, the resort completed major renovations, an investment that was estimated to have cost millions.

Pesca con Mosca wins the 5th annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament
The 5th annual three-day Tres Pescados Slam Fishing tournament ended on Saturday August 17th. A total of 19 anglers competed in this year’s tournament, which saw the participants applying their fishing skills in both good and bad weather conditions. The purpose of the fishing tournament is to highlight the importance of the three species of protected fish in Belize – Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit. At the end of the competition, the team Pesca con Mosca topped the other anglers. “The tournament raised $12,000BZ for the newly formed CARLOS MARIN FOUNDATION in Belize. These funds will be used locally in Belize to benefit the bonefish, permit and tarpon fisheries, their habitats and the protection of both. On hand for the awards banquet were all our teams as well as many of our sponsors and friends,” ended the release. The organizers take the opportunity to thank those who made the event a huge success for sport fishing in Belize. Those

The Chamber responds to the Prime Minister’s position on the Public Accounts Committee
The Chamber vigorously renews its call on both the Government of Belize and the Opposition to ensure a fully functioning Public Accounts Committee. The functions of the PAC according to the Standing Orders of the House Representatives are to examine , consider and report on: a. The accounts having the appropriation of of the sums granted by the National Assembly to meet the public expenditure of the country; b. Such other accounts as may be referred to the committee by the House or under any law; and c.The report of the Auditor General on any such accounts. The fundamental concern of the Chamber is to ensure that said reports are thoroughly reviewed and reported upon so that appropriate corrective measures regarding resource expenditures are taken where necessary by the Government and all its departments.

Misc Belizean Sources

Technology experts to help defend Belize against internet attacks
The Caribbean is not immune to the recent global attacks on computer networks and systems by Internet hackers. This was the view expressed by international technology expert Bevil Wooding in an interview on the upcoming sixth regional meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) to be held in Belize City, Belize, from September 22 to 25. "As governments and businesses in the Caribbean increase their dependence on information and communication technologies, they must at the same time build greater capacity to manage and protect technology assets," Wooding said. He gave various examples of volunteer groups of "ethical hackers" who mobilised and collaborated to help protect local networks around the world.

BBG Bird and Plant Identification Course
The Belize Botanic Gardens are having a free bird and plant identification training course from September 16th through the 20th. There's room for 25 people, so reserve a space now. In Related news, the BBG is having their Professional Gardeners' Training Programme starting on September 30th. The deadline to sign up is September 6th.

Ervin Gordon Tribute Concert
The Tribute for Hick, Ervin Gordon, local bass player, was Sunday night at the Cayo Welcome Center, and quite a few musicians, including the World Culture Band, Emmanuel Mangar, and Eddie Allen, came out to play some songs in his memory. RIP, Mr. Gordon. "many artist came to play a gig in the memory of our local bass player Hick, the Welcome center was jamming with young and old school telent."

SIPL Poetry Night
The San Ignacio Public Library is having their poetry night tonight, Wednesday, August 28th, at 6:00pm. "The Santa Elena Public Library in collaboration with the San Ignacio Public Library are holding a poetry night at the SIPL. Authors who would like to share their poetry to the community are welcomed! Confirmed Poetry Night Authors: Mrs. Melba Marin Velasquez, Ms. Tifanny Simplis, Mr. Hamner Bush, Mrs. Ruth Gutierrez."

Channel 7

Chelsie’s Body Found
Last night, we told you about the search for 7 year-old Chelsie Smith, the child who was presumed to have drowned in Isabella Bank on Sunday. Well, after 2 days of gnawing uncertainty, her body was recovered from the Belize River this morning, quite a distance away from the area she went under. It is the confirmation of the worst news for the family, who must now find closure in her burial. We went back to Isabella Bank today, where we got a chance to speak with Chelsie’s family. Here’s what they told us about how the body was discovered today: Carol Leslie - Family Friend "We found the body approximately 10:10am, after the boat was driving slow - we had about six of us in the boat, we were looking both ways and the driver saw something on the edge by the bushes and he turned around and we went back. While getting a closer view, we saw that it was baby Chelsie in the water. Her hand was hooked on one of the tree limbs and underneath the tree and when we went closer that is when we identified that it was her."

PUP Sign to PAC Declaration
The Public Accounts Committee – for decades, nothing happened with it, no meetings were held, important public work was left undone, only few noticed and hardly anyone complained – but ever since PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat raised the idea for a radically re-constituted P-A-C at the end of July, it’s become an issue of great public discourse and debate. The Chamber of Commerce was the first to endorse it and then the NTUCB, but in a release sent out yesterday, the Chamber seemed to have cooled off considerably on the Espat plan, and basically urged both sides to just get the P-A-C working. With that tepid reaction and the fact that the Council of Churches has not gotten on board – the effort for radical re-constitution of the moribund committee might have seemed to be losing steam. But politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum and just as things were starting to lag, the PUP Representatives went all-in today, starched up those Guayaberas and headed for Belmopan from as far as Punta Gorda and Orange Walk. There, on Independence Hill they made a declaration on the PAC – and 7news was there for it.

Cabbie Can’t Come Up With Teenaged Son’s School Sneakers, Almost Gets Chopped!
It’s back to school time, and the pressure is on for parents who have to come up with the new books, bags and footwear. And, one Belize City taxi-man who wasn’t coming up right narrowly escaped a beat down from his two teenaged sons. Yesterday afternoon at around 1:00, 61 year old taxi driver, Elihue Bailey pulled up at his Raccoon street Extension home, and went upstairs where he was confronted by his 13 year old son who asked him when will he get his tennis for school. The taxi-man replied “next week”, but the teenager wasn’t having that and threatened to smash the windshield of his father’s vehicle with a two by four. The taxi-man retreated, but by then his other son, who was cutting cane in the back of the yard came to the front with a machete. Bailey told police that both of them tried to assault him – one with a stick, one with a machete. He scampered into the car, and they missed him but hit the top of the driver’s door. Police recovered the 2ft long machete, and the four foot long two by four. They detained both minors but they were later released into the custody of their mother. Bailey also dropped the charges.

Alleged Lady Drug Trafficker Sent To Jail
Last night, we told you about the 31 year Therese Elijio, aka Tanisha YOUNG, and 33 year-old Karim Bood who were busted yesterday by the Gang Suppression Unit with separate stashes of marijuana. The GSU searched Eligio’s apartment and found a total of 75 pounds of marijuana. Eligio was charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking. She pleaded not guilty when she was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino. Due to the amount of marijuana, and because she owed the court for previous convictions, she was remanded to prison. She will be taken back to court on October 18. Bood was busted by the GSU in his apartment adjacent to Eligio’s. They saw him throwing plastic bags through the louvers of a bathroom window, and when they recovered the bags they found 3.52 pounds of marijuana, so the GSU charged him with drug trafficking.

GSU Gets SSG Gun
And while the GSU Believes that Therese Eligio is an associate of the Mayflower/Ghost Town gang, today they report that they’ve arrested and charged 4 men they believe are members of the Southside Crips Gang. This afternoon at around 1:45, they conducted a raid on the residence of Michael Anderson, located on Guerrero Street in Port Loyola. Anderson was not there, but inside the yard, the officers found Ian Craig, Eion Myers, Keon Lacayo, Gilbert Wade, and a 16 year-old minor. They searched an old shack in the yard, where they found a .38 revolver which was loaded with 6 live rounds of ammunition, from which Scenes of Crime personnel lifted 2 fingerprints

Will Dan Silva Return to The PUP
Former PUP Minister of Agriculture Dan Silva has been shading the political background ever since he walked away as PUP Deputy Leader in January of 2011. But the former two term Cayo Central Representative is still considered the “big-man” for the PUP in that division, even if his interest in politics is on-again, off-again. Well, it’s on right now as Silva recently posted on FACEBOOK his interest to offer himself for Cayo Central. Party Leader Francis Fonseca and his would-be convention opponent Luke Espat commented on that today in Belmopan:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "Like every other candidate, Dan Silva will have to apply to be a candidate, if he intends to run in Cayo Central and his application will have to be vetted by everybody else. Dan Silva, obviously, has a long history and relationship with the People's United Party in Cayo so certainly that is something that we will have to look at very closely." Jules Vasquez "Will it factor into your considerations that his son there's an interpol want for killing a female in Cayo Central?"

PUP Leader Says Amin Hegar Has Some Catching Up To Do
Another former PUP Minister who’s declared an interest in re-entering politics is Amin Hegar. He told us last week why he’s retracting his endorsement of Patrick Jason Andrews in Belmopan. But, Deputy Leader For the West Julius Espat says that Hegar can’t run because he’d be going back on his word. But what does the party leader have to say? We asked him today:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "The door is not closed on Mr. Hegar, he has not yet applied for Belmopan despite everything you've been hearing. When Mr. Hegar applies then his application will be vetted by various committees of the party and the National Executive. What I said earlier s that his actions over the past two weeks have to form a part of that discussion." Jules Vasquez "Will that factor into the deliberations?" Hon. Francis Fonseca "Well, it's in my view not a mis-statement because he spoke with me on the matter directly and in fact very recently has met with me again. I would not characterize what he did as a mis-statement and I think all of his actions in respect of withdrawing and publicly endorsing another candidate - those are issues that I deem relevant to the application process."

An Officer, A gentleman, And A Politician?! Major Mira Explains His PUP Passion
And while Hegar is fighting to get back into Belmopan for the PUP, a newcomer is hoping to come from behind the steal the show. He is Oscar Mira, a major in the BDF, who’s leaving his military career to get into politics. Seems like a big gamble to us, but Mira explained why he’s getting into the race:… Jules Vasquez "Mr. Mira tell me why are you leaving an excellent career in the military to go into something as speculative as politics?" Major Oscar Mira (Ret'd) - PUP Aspirant for Belmopan "Jules, I've been thinking about this for a long while. It has been over 21 years in the Military - the first course that I did the motto was 'Serve to Lead' and I have been serving my country and I have done everything to serve my country for the past 21 years and I believe that there is another way that I can serve the people in the country of Belize." Jules Vasquez "Deputy Leader for the West, Julius Espat, has his favorite candidate who is Mr. Andrews so then it would appear that you're entering as an underdog." Major Oscar Mira (Ret'd) "Well, I wouldn't want to speak for Mr. Espat and who he is supporting but I believe in a democracy you are free to support whoever you want. At the end of the day, the people in Belmopan will decide."

Man Found Guilty In Civil Court For Selling A Bad Car
Whenever buying a used car in Belize, the warning is always to let the buyer beware – and if you’re paying under five thousand dollars, the chance that you’re getting, at best, a fixer-upper, or, at worse, a “hunk of junk” increases exponentially. And that’s the chance a Cayo woman took when she Bought a Nissan Altima for four thousand dollars in December. Shortly after she bought it, the car started having major mechanical problems. She filed civil suit in magistrate’s court against the couple she bought the car form – and, in a surprising outcome, she won: the couple has to re-imburse her. Jessie Castillo is the one the action was taken out against, and he told us about this strange legal ordeal which almost landed him in Jail!:… Jessie Castillo -Sued for selling defective car "In December, a woman bought a car for my wife and like two weeks after that she came back and said that the timing chain was popped so my wife offered to replace the chain and then my wife gave her the money. She came back like two days after that and said that the whole head of the engine was cracked or bent and that it needed to be replaced. My wife told her that if the head was bent prior to her buying the car the she wouldn't have been able to move it."

The Unbreakable Janay’s First Day At High School
At approximately 7:45 this morning, the Blue Toyota Camry pulled inside the compound of Comprehensive High School- Sticking out from its trunk was this blue wheelchair, belonging to 12 year old Janea Matute – Today was Janae’s first day of High School at Belmopan Comprehensive. With the help of her mother and her big sister Amy, her wheelchair was removed from behind the trunk of the car and then 70 pound Janae was hoisted from out of the back seat of the vehicle and into her chair. -this is just a small part of their daily routine for the next 4 years. Born with cerebral palsy - which is damage caused to the motor control centers of her brain- due to what the court said was medical malpractice - Janae has been a local hero for many and is highly admired for her zest for life.

Human Rights Rapporteur Writes GOB On Mayas
The Mayas of southern Belize have been agitating for their rights and in April the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has sent a letter to the government of Belize, US Capital Energy in Belize and its parent company in the US. The nine page letter speaks to a number of issues and gives the government 60 days to respond before the communication becomes public. No response was made and the letter is now being made public. It warns the government about the impact of oil concessions on the access to food, the communities’ lack of consent to activities happening in their traditional lands, and the Government’s disregard for rulings of the Supreme Court and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights.

Road Safety Strategy Cemented
7News has been closely following the establishment of Belize’s National Road Safety Strategy. It is an initiative funded by the Government of Belize, and the Caribbean Development Bank to make Belize’s highways safer. We’ve told you about the first phase of the project to establish defensive driving, and now, the project is move along with the launching of the National Road Safety Committee. Today, there was a small ceremony to note importance of the committee, and the CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development explained its mandate: Ms. Audrey Wallace - CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development "The establishment of this committee is a condition of the finance agreement between the government and Caribbean Development Bank with respect to the road safety project - it is a condition but it's also a very important link forward in terms of government's plan in the area of road safety, citizens' security. This project is expected to serve as a launch pad in a comprehensive and longer term road safety strategy.

Red Cross Flags Up
The Belize Red Cross Flag is flying this week at the Flag Monument at the City’s entrance. It’s part of the organization’s 30th Anniversary Celebration as a non-charitable organization in Belize. So, yesterday, bright and early 14 scouts led by 3 scout leaders of the Belize Scouts Association, mounted the flag at the Flag Monument.

Channel 5

Michael Silva allegedly coming back to explain his side of the story
In July, INTERPOL issued a warrant for the arrest of twenty-eight year old San Ignacio resident Michael Silva. Silva is wanted in connection with the September 2011 murder of nineteen [...]

Dan Silva intends to reclaim Cayo Central
And while Michael Silva is allegedly coming back…Dan Silva is coming back for sure. The successful former politician and P.U.P. Minister says he intends to reclaim his old stomping grounds [...]

Luke Espat says he is excited and ready to contest Cayo Central
But Silva won’t be back, at least not officially, until he gets past the P.U.P.’s vetting process. That process should be applied to all persons who aspire to contest conventions [...]

The opposition continues to seek for the restructuring of the PAC
The new and improved Public Accounts Committee is still just a proposal which never made it past the floor of the House of Representatives. The Opposition is seeking the restructuring [...]

Seven year old drowning victim’s body is found
After scouring the Old Belize River since Sunday night, the body of a seven year old girl was found this morning. The Sand Hill school girl was at a birthday [...]

Jaguars yet to receive payment for participation in Gold Cup
The flare of Gold Cup 2013 has dwindled since the annual CONCACAF tournament concluded in Chicago a few weeks ago.  Despite a less than stellar debut in the regional competition, [...]

SATIIM condemns action taken by government
On Monday, the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, condemned the actions of the Government for allowing the police to dispatch armed officers into the Sarstoon/Temash National Park [...]

Neighbors going to the Belize Central Prison
Two neighbors will be spending their first night at the Central Prison. The Gang Suppression Unit, on Monday detained a Belize City woman and a man who live next to [...]

He stole a bike to buy HIV/AIDS medication
A Belize City resident told the court this morning on arraignment that he is afflicted with HIV AIDS and had to steal for medication. Thirty-four year old construction worker, Kenroy [...]

Five adults and one minor charged for gun and ammunition
On Monday, the Gang Suppression Unit made a surprise raid at Antelope Street Extension; it yielded them some eighty pounds of marijuana. This afternoon, the GSU executed a search at [...]

Third annual Back-to-School Drive; get free grooming at Fabers Road
The third annual Back-To-School Drive, organized by Brian Dena, a community activist of the Fabers Road area, kicks off this Friday.  But Dena is wasting no time in appealing to [...]

P.U.P. party leader says Amin Hegar’s actions are going to be taken into consideration
There is much political soup bubbling on the fire in Cayo Central with the announcement of the re-emergence of Dan Silva. But there is also some measure of controversy in [...]

Revisiting the award winning Decriminalization of Marijuana
Last year, a former minister of government introduced into the national discourse a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana. A committee was formed to look at [...]

Who will Be The Next Superstar? We find out tonight!
It is here…The grand finale of Be the Next Superstar and shortly, the winner of the Season Two will be revealed at an event that will celebrate talent and creativity. [...]


Dog Attacks Toddler in Western Belize
Last week Love News reported on the vicious mauling of a three year old girl and her mother by a pit-bull dog. The incident occurred in the Iguana Street Extension area of Belize City. But the problem it seems is not confined only to Belize City, as another three year old was bitten to the face by a dog in the Cayo District as well. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “A three year old was viciously attacked by a dog in Armenia Village on the Humming bird Highway. The mother, Elsa Lemus reported to police that on Monday around 3:30pm while she was inside her house, her three year old son went outside to pick up craboo under a tree in the yard. A few minutes later, she heard her son crying out; when she ran outside she saw her son bleeding on his face; about a yard away from her child she saw a black dog. Children who were nearby told the mother that the dog bit her son. According to the mother this is not the first time that the dog has attacked residents.” Like the case we reported last week in Belize City, the owner of the dog has reportedly stepped out to assist the victim’s family.

Fight Ensues At A Municipal Office Over Money ‘Owed’
A man was injured during a misunderstanding at the Orange Walk Town Council office today. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “One man is injured during a misunderstanding at the Orange Walk Town Council. Love News understands that Orange Walk resident Oscar Calderon visited the Town Hall and approached the office messenger. Things got heated on the second floor as we understand Calderon started to demand money owed to him by the Council for work he had done. The situation quickly escalated and become physical between Calderon and the Office Messenger. We understand that Calderon first assaulted the Messenger and in the process attempted to take his gold chain but only managed to pull it off from around his neck. The Messenger, we are told, in his defence pulled out a machete from under the counter and inflicted a wound onto Calderon’s head. The incident stirred a big commotion as other employees at the council arrived to restrain Calderon who remained irate. The police were called and eventually arrested Calderon. He was treated for his wound and will be charged for threatening words. As for the messenger who inflicted the wound, Love News understands he will not be charged as he acted in self-defence. Love News has also been reliably informed that Calderon has not been employed at the Council and no money is owed to him.

Young Girl’s Body Retrieved from Belize Waters and Laid to Rest
The body of seven year old Chelsie Smith was found today after a three day search was launched. As we reported, Smith drowned in the Belize Old River on Sunday Morning whilst at Isabella Bank Village in Rural Belize. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Almost two days later following the disappearance underwater of seven year old Chelsie Smith, her body was retrieved from the Belize Old River. As we reported, Chelsie along with her mother, Pamela Olivera, and four other children were fishing alongside the banks of the Belize Old River in Isabella Bank Village on Sunday morning when the tragic incident occurred. Chelsie fell off an underwater trench and subsequently drowned. A search team comprised of the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Coast Guard and family members set out to recover her body. After diving into the murky waters for the past two days, it was not until this morning at about ten minutes after ten o’clock that the body was located by family members. Carol Leslie is Chelsie’s godmother.

Former Speakers of the House of Representatives Register Disgust with Conduct in Recent Sitting
The People’s United Party today shared a letter written by former speakers of the House of Representatives, Sylvia Flores and Elizabeth Zabaneh, and addressed to the current Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte registering their disapproval with the conduct displayed in the House. A sentence in the letter reads quote “we write you to register, for the record, our strong disapproval and dismay regarding the conduct publicly displayed in the House of Representatives over several months and in particular the behavior of the Member for Mesopotamia at the last House meeting” end quote. They also say that they believe that the behavior represents a “low point of conduct” and should not be allowed to continue in the House. The letter continues saying that the business of the people must be carried out with cordiality and respect saying quote “The authority and dignity of the House should never be brought into disrepute and we, therefore, insist that an atmosphere of respect for the Speaker and for both sides of the aisle has to be restored” end quote. In the letter both Flores and Zabaneh also let Peyreffitte know that the Belizean public has been expressing their disgust at the offensive behavior and disrespect toward the woman member of the House. They close with quote “For our democracy to remain vibrant, all Members of the National Assembly must be able to expect that there will be civility, respect and due regard for their human dignity. We therefore, trust that you will take these, our serious concerns, into account. The letter which is dated the 21st of August was also copied to Governor General Sir Colville Young, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca.

Most Trusted Employee Runs Away with Company’s Day Sales
A man goes missing in the Orange Walk District on Monday but as his employers searched for him, they realize they were robbed. Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL REPORTING Nazira Romero and her husband who run ER’s Icy Treats, an ice pop business in Orange Walk Town began their search for one of their vendors, Roejlio Balam after he failed to report back in after five Monday evening. Romero told Love News that they found it “strange” that Rojelio Balam, a born Belizean and a trusted employee who has been with them for over a year would not report in without notice. Romero says they naturally became worried. NAZIRA ROMERO “The time they usually come is 5 – 5:30 and we always worry because they are out there and they are like part of our family. When we realized he was missing, my husband went looking for him and we started making phone calls to different villages to see if someone had seen him; we even put it on our Facebook page to see if customers had seen him because he is one of the most known vendors. About ten that night after calling the police, we decided that we should put it on the radio.”

Convict Stole Bicycle to Pay For HIV Meds
A 34 year old man who said he stole a bicycle in order to purchase medication because he is HIV positive, was given a fine instead of a custodial sentence when he pled guilty to theft today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. He is Kenroy Brown, a construction worker residing on Central American Boulevard. Brown was fined seven hundred and fifty dollas and was given until October 15th to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months. Brown, who has a wife and 2 children, said the free medication does not work for him and he was told by a doctor that only the expensive medication can help him. The incident occurred around 6 p.m. on Friday, August 23. The complainant, Christian Samus, an employee of First Stop Pawnshop, located at the corner of Mosul Street and Orange Street, reported to the police that he was closing the shop when Brown jumped on his bicycle and rode away. Samus said he pursued Brown and caught up with him on Water Lane. A police mobile patrol was passing by at the same time and Samus stopped it and reported the theft. As a result, Brown was taken into custody and charged.

Six Months in Prison for Third Theft Conviction
Twenty year old Jason Cawich, a fisherman with 2 convictions for bicycle theft, got his third conviction today when he pled guilty to theft and was sentenced to 6 months by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Cawich owes the court over two thousand dollars for fines for which payment is outstanding. Magistrate Hamilton stipulated that the sentence of 6 months is to run consecutively to any other sentence. The theft occurred around 12:55 p.m. on Sunday, August 25. Twenty-six year old security guard Jason Lature reported to the police that he went to work at Heritage Bank, located on Princess Margaret Drive, and he parked his beach cruiser bicycle at the back of the bank near to the restroom. He said he then noticed the defendant jump on his bicycle and ride off. Lature said he pursued the person and caught up with him in front of Jamboree’s Restaurant on Mercy Lane. Lature apprehended Cawich and held him in custody until the police arrived. Cawich said that it was a friend who he met in front of Pallotti High School who told him that the bicycle parked at the bank was his. Cawich said the friend told him to go get the bicycle and that was why he rode off on it.

Fifteen Year Old Says She Willingly Had Sex; Construction Worker Charged with Carnal Knowledge
Twenty one year old Victor Castańeda, a construction worker of San Roman Village in the Corozal District was arrested and charged by police for the crime of unlawful carnal knowledge following a report made on Friday. The report was made by a fifteen year old girl of Xaibe Village in the Corozal District, in the company of her mother. She reported that she had sexual intercourse with Castańeda of her own free will at her home. Medical examinations conducted on her certified that she was indeed carnally known.

Opposition Party Wants Ruling Party to Quit ‘Political Games’; People’s United Party Weighs in on Aspiring Candidates
The UDP Government and the Opposition have been at odds lately over the PUP’s intention to see the Public Accounts Committee undergo some level of reform. And last week, the Prime Minister’s Office took a formal position against the PUP’s proposed changes. Since then the Committee’s Chairman, PUP’s Cayo South Representative, Julius Espat, has said that the Government’s position is hogwash. The Government has claimed that the proposed changes to the Committee would be in concert with the Standing Orders of the National Assembly because it requires that the ruling government have majority seating on all Standing Committees. Well today, the People’s United Party took their fight to no less than the same National Assembly or at least in front of it where the party leader and the Committee Chairman spok to the media.

Indigenous Mayan People in Southern Belize Claims Disrespect
Last week SATIIM reported that its rangers and community leaders were prevented by BDF from patrolling the Sarstoon Temash National Park. But according to the representative of US Capital Energy Belize Limited, Alistair King, police intervened because SATIIM rangers and the community leaders were headed to US Capital Energy’s Temash Number two Drill Site. King says that no one can visit unless permission is granted. Yesterday SATIIM, condemned what it called “continued use of heavily armed police and BDF to intimidate SATIIM and the community leaders of the Sarstoon Temash Region. The organization goes on to say that Government and US Capital are engaged in illegal activities on Maya Customary Titled Lands. King told Love News that US Capital Energy Belize operations are being carried out under regulations and the company is not breaching any law. Today the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, sent out a press release expressing their outrage what they said was the imposition of force by the Security Forces onto the Indigenous Mayan People of Belize in an attempt to force them off lands.


Rotaract Orange Walk Hosts Back To School Drive
Over the weekend the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk hosted their 4th annual “Back to School Drive” with the aim of reaching those in need. This year the project was...

The Young Jaguars Return Home
The Under Fifteen National Selection returned home yesterday and as was expected, they were given a hero’s welcome. That is because they displayed a spectacular and exceptional performance in the...

Dan Silva and Luke Espat Enter The Race For Cayo Central
Last two weeks Luke Espat announced his candidacy for the PUP in Cayo Central after he held a meeting with committee members including the divisional chairman. The news did not...

Corozal Resident Charged For Having Sex With A Minor
A man from the Corozal District is in big trouble with the law for having sexual intercourse with a minor. Accompanied by her mother, the 15 year old from the...

Corozal Resident Found Lying In The Middle of Highway Succumbs to His injuries
Tonight Corozal Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man from the Village of San Narciso Corozal who is believed was the victim of a traffic accident....

Political Doors Are Still Open For Doctor Hegar In The PUP
A few days ago Doctor Amin Hegar announced that he was once again entering the race to represent the PUP in Belmopan; this is after he endorsed newcomer Jason Patrick...

Paletas Man Steals From His Employer
ER’s Icy Treats located on Benque Viejo Street, Orange Walk, is a business that conducts its sales by visiting the home of residents and offering cold refreshments. That entails hiring...

Former Speakers of The House Demand Respect In Parliament
The offensive comments made in the House of Representatives on August 7th by Michael Finnegan, aimed at Belize Rural Central Dolores Balderamos Garcia resulted in public outcry. Finnegan lashed out...

PUP Parliamentarians and Senators Sign Declaration to Restructure PAC
The restructuring of the Public’s Account Committee continues to gain momentum despite the Prime Minister of Belize disagreeing with the restructure. Yesterday the Belize Chambers of Commerce vehemently called on...


Child drowns in the Belize District
7 year old Chelsie Smith of Sandhill, Belize District, drowned in the Belize Old River on Sunday morning According to police, the mother, 33 year old Pamela Olivaria, was in Isabella Bank attending a function and decided to go fishing with her children, who...

Fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway
There was a fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway over the weekend. The incident happened on Saturday evening at about 5 pm. According to reports, 35 year old Walter Alexander Gonzales was driving his 2004 Toyota Prado from his home at mile 32 on the George Price...

Armed robbery in Belmopan
There was an armed robbery in Belmopan on Friday night. Barack Trading Center on Mountain View Boulevard was the latest business targeted by armed thieves. According to the proprietor, 39 year old Adil Wheed Butt, a naturalized Belizean businessman in Belmopan, he was inside his store on Friday night...

Tropical Wave causes flooding in many areas
There have been heavy rainfalls over the past few days due to a tropical wave crossing the country. Those rainfalls have caused localized floodings in various areas of the country. The National Emergency Management Organization issued an advisory regarding the flooding situation saying that...

Two Belize City residents report encounters with gunmen
Two Belize City residents are tonight fortunate to be alive after they had separate run ins with gunmen. The first happened shortly before 9:00pm on Sunday night. A 19 year old told Police that he was at a Chinese store located in the area of Curassow Street and Cemetery...

Mexican Secretary for Foreign Relations visits Belize
Dr. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena, the Mexican secretary for foreign relations, visited Belize this weekend and was hosted by his Belizean counterpart Wilfred Elrington. In a short press conference on Sunday afternoon, Dr. Meade noted that Belize and Mexico have had a long relationship, but much of it is...

Mark Seawell’s extradition case continues
Attorneys for Mark Seawell, the Belizean accused of drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the U.S. state of Ohio in the 1990s, have vigorously opposed his extradition to the United States. Mr Sewawell’s attorneys are charging among other things that the U.S. is relying on improperly gathered evidence that...

National Road Safety Committee established
The Government of Belize is currently undertaking the Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project which will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Works and Transport. The project was officially launched on the 14th of March. To oversee the project’s implementation the...

City Children experience farming and eating fresh corn
“What you reap is what you sow” is just one the life lessons the Harvest for Kids program seeks to teach young children. The program was birthed out of The Belize Camping Experience, which operates in Belize City. BCE is an organization whose mission is...

Male and female national football teams return home
With different fortunes, the male U-15 and female U-20 national football teams returned home on Monday. The men won three of four games played in the Cayman Islands and lost the other narrowly to Guatemala, an eventual finalist. The women lost all three games they...

Dion Leslie is new BCA President
After months of internal wrangling and dispute, the Belize Cycling Association met on Saturday in Belize City to elect its national executive. The delay had been caused by a court case involving former president Emil Moreno, who was challenging a decision by the Belize Olympic Association to disallow the...


“Government of Belize and US Capital’s display of force last week Friday demonstrates the lawlessness of their intention in the region …” “…when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” Maya community leaders of the buffering villages of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, where US Capital Energy is gearing up to drill for oil in Toledo, were on Friday met by a group of police officers—armed, at least in one instance, with what appears to be an M-16 rifle—when they attempted to gain access to the drill site. The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Maya communities’ leaders have issued a public statement, condemning what they contend is “the continued use of heavily armed police and BDF to intimidate SATIIM and the community leaders of the Sarstoon Temash Region.” “Government of Belize and US Capital’s display of force last week Friday demonstrates the lawlessness of their intention in the region and is symbolic of what is to come later. Every oil company operating in [the] world has its operations guarded by military and paramilitary forces; and it seems to us that it will not be any different in Belize,” said the SATIIM statement.

Miss Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013. Belize International Pageants Limited crowned the 21-year-old student of the University of Belize at ceremonies held on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at the Royal Orchid Hotel in Belize City. As Miss Earth, Amber is the official environmental ambassador of Belize. She will be representing her country at the Miss Earth International Pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November 2013. According to a press release sent by Belize International Pageants Ltd., the previous queen, Miss Jessel Lauriano, gave her final address and passed on the torch to the newly crowned queen, Ms. Rivero, who said that she is proud to be able to showcase Belize’s natural wonders and help to make her country take its rightful place on the international scene. The release states that in her acceptance speech, Amber promised “to promote Belize positively in any and every opportunity.” At the very least, her hopes are “to change the way people in Belize think about the natural beauty in their own backyard.” This is because she trusts that “if you change your mind, you can change your life”. Furthermore, in closing, Rivero stated with conviction, “This is not the symbol of beauty or superficial claims, but instead, a declaration of our shared hopes for the future, for a change in Belize.”

Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, told Amandala today that the Ministry of Health hopes to have a final report on investigations into an alleged sex scandal at the acute care psychiatric facility, housed at the Western Regional Hospital, by the end of the week. DHS Pitts said that if the allegations against a hospital driver—suspended last week on allegations that he was having an affair with a vulnerable psychiatric patient—are confirmed, the acts, he said, would be “totally disgusting and out of order.” That investigation is being headed by Bernadette Nicholson, hospital administrator and acting regional manager – who was in an emergency meeting until very late today, our newspaper was told. Pitts said that he has confirmed that the driver in question has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigations, but he said he has no information to indicate that any of the psychiatric staff has been transferred from the facility.

Mejia was stabbed in the left side of his chest after a long-time issue with Pook. Today, Demoris Pook, 19, a resident of Hattieville, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with the attempted murder of Anthony Mejia. According to police, Mejia reported that he and Pook had had a long-time animosity between each other, but on Friday, it escalated into something physical. Mejia told police that as he was walking through a yard in Hattieville, he saw Pook and they got into an argument, which turned into a fight. During the fight, Pook allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Mejia in the left side of his chest, and managed to cut his own left index finger in the process. The offense is indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court, so no plea was taken from Pook. He was not offered any bail either, and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He is scheduled to appear back in court on October 17, 2013.

A man is presently on life support in the Intensive Care Ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), after he was chopped several times while sleeping in his house in Mahogany Heights at about 12:30 Friday morning, August 23. Police say they responded to reports of a chopping incident in Mahogany Heights and went to the home of Kenneth Flowers, 26. When they arrived at the house, they found Flowers in a sitting position, bleeding from three large chop wounds to his face and head. Police investigation revealed that a man gained entry into Flowers’ home after midnight on Friday, by way of the bedroom where Flowers was sleeping, and chopped him several times. Flowers was alone in his house at the time.

Welch was charged with aggravated assault after he attacked his common-law wife with a machete. Wayne Welch, 45, a taxi driver of #13 Rivero Street, is at the Belize Central Prison today because he was unable to pay an outstanding fine and could not be bailed after being charged with aggravated assault until this fine was paid. Welch appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he was charged with aggravated assault upon his common-law wife, Tanya Matura, 30, also a resident of #13 Rivero Street. According to police, Matura reported that she returned from Melchor at about 12:45 p.m. on August 12, and about five minutes later, Welch arrived home. She said that when Welch came into the house, he approached her in a threatening manner, with a machete in his hand.

Unconfirmed reports are that the minor was found nude with White when police arrived at the house. Errol White, 56, a resident of #4255 Croton Lane, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today after he was charged with having sexual intercourse with a female minor, age 15. According to police, at 3:45 last Thursday evening, they went to a house located at the corner of Nargusta Street and Central American Boulevard, where they found White and the minor. Unconfirmed reports to Amandala are that the minor was found nude when police arrived at the house. The minor and a guardian went to a hospital, where a doctor examined her and she was certified to be carnally known.

The two allegedly stole two cell phones and a cap, all totaling $820. This morning, Justin McFoy, 19, and a minor, both residents of #16 Wilson Street, were each charged with three counts of robbery when they appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino. According to police, Kaylie Bailey, Clive Hyde and Aaron Smith were leaving a club located near the Princess Hotel on August 18, 2013. As they exited the club, they were approached by the two robbers, one of whom then pointed a gun at them and demanded what they had. The three handed over a ZTE Boost Mobile touch screen cell phone valued at $400; a blue-colored LG brand cell phone valued at $350; and a grey NEW ERA cap valued at $70, all totaling $820 in value. The two pleaded not guilty to the three charges and were unrepresented in court. However, the minor’s mother was present when he was arraigned.

Smith was at work when he was caught with 54.6 grams of suspected cannabis. Ajany Smith, 28, a prison officer at Kolbe Foundation, was taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was read a charge of drug trafficking this morning. According to Hattieville police, they responded to a prison report, and Smith was handed over to them. They were informed that at 11:20 Saturday night, after Smith had reported for work, he started complaining of pain in his right foot. When he went to the medical center at the prison, he had to be searched – a procedure that has to be conducted on all those who are taken there, including workers. It was then that prison officials found two black plastic bags inside the right front pocket of Smith’s pants. Inside the bags, which were opened in his presence, the prison officials found what they suspected to be cannabis and when weighed, the suspected drugs amounted to 54.6 grams.

After a rest day yesterday, the Belize Junior Female team came back against Panama today and played the most exciting game of the tournament so far. It went 5 very close sets, with Belize needing extra points in the deciding set and winning 19-17. Belize won the first 2 sets very close, 25-23 and 25-22, but then lost the next 2 with very close margins, 24-26 and 23-25. In the 5th set, Belize took a 3-point lead late in the set, but Panama came back. The Belize team remained composed and pulled it out 19-17. Maurissa Williams was top scorer with 15 points (8 kills, 3 blocks, 4 aces). Sherika Burton had 13 points (all kills). Jashema Saunders and Leandra Betson each had 5 kills and 2 blocks.

The Belize Male U-15 National Team returned home early this afternoon to a hero’s welcome at the PGIA, including a motorcade through the city streets and a press conference at the Radisson, after recording an unprecedented 3 wins 1 loss record at the inaugural CONCACAF Under-15 Championship in the Cayman Islands. Our “Baby Jaguars” finished 2nd in Group B, and the team they lost 1-nil to, Guatemala, lost in the championship finals, 2-1, to Honduras. The Baby Jaguars beat St. Lucia, 1-0; defeated Jamaica, 3-1; then lost, 1-nil, to Guatemala; and finished with a 6-1 victory over Grenada. Only a couple hours later this afternoon, our Belize Female U-20 National Team also touched down at the PGIA, returning from Honduras, where they had made a very good showing, despite losing all 3 games. They lost 1-nil to host Honduras, and by identical 4-3 scores to Guatemala and El Salvador. It was a pre-qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Women U-20 Championship in Cayman in January next year, which is a qualifying tournament to the FIFA Women U-20 World Cup Canada 2014. For once, our Belize National Women team was not a pushover for our Central American opponents, and have served notice of better things to come.

From time to time, you will hear us criticize the two major political parties in these pages. These are very important organizations, and they are the engines of our democracy. At this newspaper, we respect the PUP and the UDP. Because Belize does have a functional democracy, this newspaper can criticize the major political parties, and live to tell the tale. Because Belize has a flawed democracy, we simply have to criticize the PUP and the UDP. Most of the times, we will criticize a political party when that party is in power, and the issue then is usually corruption, or incompetence. Infrequently, we criticize the party which is in Opposition, and that is when they are not bringing enough heat on the government, or when they speak disrespectfully or dishonestly of us. In order for it to function properly, parliamentary democracy absolutely must have an Opposition, you know, and the stronger the better. There has never been an Opposition party in this country with which Amandala has had as much wrangling as we have had with this Opposition PUP. This wrangling began back in 2004, when the PUP was still in power, and for us on Partridge the argument was and is about development philosophy. There are high ranking people in the PUP who believe that Belizeans are still in the 1960s mentally, when a lot of the political discourse was personal, so they have focused on the personal side of their argument with Partridge Street for the last nine years, and counting …

What became apparent to all economists was that the “free competition” led to a paradoxical situation: each time there were less economic units that survived both the cyclical crises and the competition itself. That is, competition tended to negate itself. By the late nineteenth century it was clear that companies existed that were true monsters which controlled an entire branch of production or all phases or levels of an industry: the trusts and monopolies or oligopolies. The property tended to be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the prices are no longer settled in the struggle between buyers and sellers, but are the result of unilateral decisions or agreements between the monopolies. These trends coincided with one another: capitalism becoming global. Another, of great significance for all forms of capital, which was becoming a dominant issue, was financial capital. In the early twentieth century there was already a fact that economists – not just Lenin, who was fundamentally a political revolutionary – called “imperialism.” Imperialism is a new era. It is not an exclusively economic, but political, cultural and military reality. It is still valid today the general characterization made by Lenin, based on Hilferding, that imperialism is the epoch in which capitalism dominates the sphere of the planet, in that financial capital is dominant, and the major powers are political and military instruments of those great interests in the struggle for the control of markets for commodities, capital and labor, territories and access to wealth. The same logic operation of the system led to wars of plunder and domination of the world’s peoples.

Whereas the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) is meeting this evening to formulate its position on a declaration from the Office of the Prime Minister that no reform of the Public Accounts Committee is necessary; and that the committee can move ahead with reviewing the Auditor General Reports in two series: pre-2008 and post-2008—the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry made its unequivocal position known via a press release issued today: that is, PAC’s work needs to proceed. “The method by which it is done is still open to question, and we are reserving the right to see how the PM’s proposal proceeds,” president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kay Menzies, indicated to our newspaper today. The Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement on Wednesday, August 21, announcing that, “the Government side of the Committee will insist now that the Chairman calls an urgent meeting of the PAC to agree to a schedule for consideration of all the outstanding Auditor General reports. Such a schedule should see the work divided into two: examination of pre-2008 reports; and examination of post-2008 reports.”

Some members of the cycling family insist that it will be no big deal when they host another Albert Street-Regent Street September cycling criterium, which has become a traditional feature for city dwellers. They say that it will just be a little sharper curve at the end of Mule Park, since the wide turn around Belize Bank has now been blocked off. Perhaps, if the cyclists run into difficulties, they might just forget about the old downtown criterium and resign themselves thereafter to Marine Parade. But there may be other problems down the road on account of the removal of the old Mule Park crossing. There have been some historic court cases in Belize that drew large numbers of our citizens into the street in front of the Supreme Court building, waiting anxiously for the verdict. One recalls the UBAD Seditious Conspiracy trial of 1970; and older folks also remember the Sedition trials of the 1950’s against Philip Goldson and Leigh Richardson, and later on, George Price.

A girl drowned over the weekend while swimming with her family. Chelsea Smith, 7, of Sandhill, was swimming with relatives around 11:00 yesterday morning in the Belize River at Isabella Bank, when she went under the water and did not resurface. Despite the best efforts of her family, friends and the Coast Guard, Chelsea has not yet been found. Pamela Olivera said that yesterday about 5:30 in the morning, she and her family went to Isabella Bank from Sandhill to attend a party at her relatives. While at the function, she and her five children went fishing at the Belize Old River situated in front of their relatives’ residence. The children were swimming in the river when she saw her daughter go under the water. She went to assist her, but the strong river currents pulled her under, causing her to struggle for her own life. She managed to save herself, but was not able to reach her daughter, who disappeared, Olivera said.

The habeas corpus hearing of Mark Seawell, 43, proceeded today in Supreme Court No. 1 in Belize City. The hearings are to decide Seawell’s fate in regards to an extradition request that has been issued by US authorities, who have accused Seawell of being involved in a drug smuggling ring that transported cocaine to the US through Mexico. He is also accused of being engaged in the sale of marijuana between 1994 and 1997. The case began on August 15 with Seawell’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, presenting his case before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Saldivar spoke for about three hours before the case was adjourned until today so that the Government’s attorney could present its case.

Dear Editor, EVERYBODY DANCES OR NOBODY DANCES! I borrowed that phrase from an article I read in the last few days on Cuba and its cultural tourism. I thought how apt, how fitting, how timely. From what I gather, the tourist industry is a fact of life and here to stay. Worldwide it surpasses even automobiles and chemicals in economic might. To quote a statement by UNESCO, that tourism can be a deadly foe or a firm friend is a well-known fact. Right now in Belize it is sure looking like a foe, a deadly one. I’ve been listening to, more specifically, reading about the concerns and outbursts surrounding the MOU between GOB and NCL for the development of Harvest Caye and the introduction of cruise ships to southern Belize. I thought I’d get my two cents in. Spokespersons for the Garifuna population at home and abroad were aghast that their sacred dance, the dg, would be featured as entertainment and, in no uncertain terms, lashed out at IDEA, the designer for the project.

— by Rand Taylor Dear Editor, Belize has been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, the world’s second longest barrier reef, and a treasure of biodiversity both in the sea and on the land in all directions. This is a sacred gift, entrusted by God to the people of Belize for as long as the sun may rise. You are the guardians of this treasure now and for future generations yet to be born. And right now your love of country and the natural environment that makes it so magnificent is being tested. Some of your misguided politicians have been seduced by the false promises and barefaced lies of the gigantic cruise ship industry. These people that you elected to help protect your country and its future have sold you out. They have agreed to let these giant cruise ships belch into your pristine waters of Southern Belize and destroy everything in their path that is worth saving. If you don’t act now to stop this massive scam, your world is doomed to follow the devastation that has wreaked havoc across the Caribbean in the last decade. Once lost, this beautiful world cannot be restored. You hold the future in your hands.

— by Robert Turton Dear Editor, Kindly allow me a little space in your newspaper to ask the Mayor of Belize City a few questions. First I would like to congratulate him for taking steps to improve the infrastructure of Belize City, Something that the PUP central government and municipal government never thought of doing because they were too busy doing “other things.” And it seems like the UDP Central Government is somewhat following suit because maybe they are a bit embarrassed by what all you have been doing with such little resources at your disposal. Recently we have been getting a lot of rains and I have seen the majority of the recently cemented streets totally covered and saturated in water. Now I am no structural engineer, but my common sense tells me this will shorten the life of these streets. So rather than cementing street after street with the possibility that they may not last for the intended lifetime, why not explore ways to improve the drainage?

— by Chriss Roggema Dear Editor, What, Mr. Chriss is quoting the Pope? Having had my kids going to school here in Caye Caulker was sometimes conflicting with what I was raised with. Not being Catholic, I would allow my boys to decide for themselves if they wanted to be part of the religious practices at the CCRC Primary School. That made a lot of people conclude that I was anti-Catholic. Being raised Dutch Reformed with old-fashioned Mennonite roots absolutely did not resonate with me anymore when I became a more conscious boy at 14. The Dutch Reformed were the supporters of apartheid and that was totally against what I felt was right for me. The first Catholic priest I met sexually molested me and only because I reacted so quickly did I escape being raped. So later in life priests, pastors, preachers were not my favorite people I would want to socialize with. Organized religion really turned me off because of my experience with their representatives.

— by Jose Perera In our society the male of the species need to take up its normal position as its leader and defender. Maintaining good command of our Language, good grades in Math, Science, and Physical Education, while empowering our population, are essential & relative to the success of a nation. Dear Editor, Parents, the Departments of Education, Sports and Youth, and the Churches, besides prioritizing Math and the Sciences, we need to place Physical Education in the school curriculum permanently. All institutions of learning should have paid physical instructors. Good Science and Math results in school must be priority. The males of the specie are naturally more disposed to Math and the Sciences than their female counterparts. It has become repetitive from the mouth of male students that Math is difficult. This is effeminate influence, specifically from their teachers.

The August 25th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE


Three Pictures That Sum Up My Day – Maya Beach, Placencia Peninsula to Ambergris Caye
Here are the three pictures that sum up my day of travel from Placencia, Belize back to San Pedro. The route? Maya Beach to Dangriga to Belmopan to Belize City on the bus (4 hours) and water taxi to the caye. (1.5 hours) Waiting for the 6:30am Express bus to take me from Maya Beach to Belize City. My Laura Ashley luggage set circa 1991 has served me very well. Always easy to find in a luggage heap. And my bag matches beautiful with The Green Parrot. The express quickly came to an end when we blew a tire just outside Dangriga. I did not enjoy it when my seat mate whispered “hang on” and then clung to my arm.

Horrific Fire Ravages Ramon’s Village in San Pedro, Belize
Ramon’s Village, one of the oldest resorts on the island of Ambergris Caye, started on fire this evening and burned out of control for over an hour. The structure is mostly wood and palapa and went up quickly. I hear from reliable sources that the fire started in the laundry room and the fire department was called. The fire became out of control before they arrived and the restaurant and most of the resort has burned. The power in town was out during most of the blaze. The fire could be seem as far north as 7 miles past the bridge. No other houses or buildings around Ramon’s have caught fire. The blaze is now UNDER control and I am hearing that no one was hurt. I certainly pray that is true. Here are pictures of the fire.

Belizean Eco Resort Offers Aaron Paul his own “trip to Belize”
Is Jesse Pinkman getting a jump on Hank Schrader’s trip to Belize? The Lodge at Chaa Creek, a popular Belizean eco resort, said it was happy to see Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul’s tweet that he’s considering taking advantage of an invitation to take a trip to Belize. Chaa Creek’s marketing director Larry Waight said he saw the Aaron Paul tweet after the Belize Tourism Board issued an invitation to the creators and cast of the popular American television series to visit Belize following a curious reference to the country during which the character Saul asks Walter White, ‘Have you given any thought to sending him on a trip to Belize?” as a euphemism for murdering Hank Schrader. “Send him to Belize? I’ll send you to Belize!” the White character, played by Bryan Cranston, responded. While some people felt the reference was disparaging, Mr Waight said Chaa Creek’s management found it funny.

Self medicating in San Pedro
It is not difficult to self medicate in San Pedro, in fact a pharmacist told me no because I needed a prescription and when I explained I only wanted one pill, he turned around and gave it to me. I am sure there are lots of meds they will give you here that you could not get without a prescription in other parts of the world – definitely a double edged sword for some. Recently it was a stubborn cold that had both tacoboy and I in it’s grip. We waited a few days to try and get over it but I was still dizzy feeling, and we were both coughing up green goblins. Thankfully decided to check up on me Dr Al while he was not so patiently waiting for A day in Corozal Town part 2 post. When he found it was not clearing fast enough, he emailed me the following advice – “Listen homie. You are in a hot humid place. So bacterial overgrowth from a cold is more common than if you were here. Do the 5 day deal. Don’t be difficult.” I knew he was right and it was time to self medicate so Paul went to the pharmacy and got us a round of Zitro-500 aka Z-pack. This helped a lot but did not knock it out completely and I still feel like sleeping all day every day.

“My Best Friend” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the extremely inclement weather on Saturday, the last two mornings on the veranda have been very pleasant. Back to normal in fact. So, ideal conditions for my continued searching on the Internet for the things we want to buy in Miami (an ideal gateway for shipping the purchases to Belize) for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. I’ve taken the approach of making at least two selections for each of the items we plan on purchasing and now only have a few more to go before Rose and I can sit down and make the final choices. Then we can make application (this so that tax and duties are waived) to the “BTB” (Belize Tourism Board) to import them under the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program), order and pay for them (ouch) and organise shipping. As I have mentioned previously, possessions that we have had in store in the UK since we moved here in May last year are en-route and Rose’s daily routines now include monitoring the progress of the Philadelphia Express (the ship that they are on).

August 27, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

SPJC welcomes new students
San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) has grown dramatically in alumni since its inception 13 years ago. SPJC was created to provide quality tertiary education in a convenient location for students working in the day while attending classes at night. This year students were welcomed back with a fun orientation night on Friday, August 23rd. President of SPJC, Angel Nunez delivered an inspiring speech, where he challenged the students to strive for success. He also urged them never give up on their goals and aspirations. The students were also briefed on new the new rules and regulations of the institution that will be implemented in order to maintain the quality of the school up to par with the other tertiary schools in Belize. Among these new regulations were dress code policies and student conduct.

New Garifuna Council in San Pedro Town
The Garifuna Council San Pedro Town Branch has received new faces to serve the community of San Pedro Town.Elected earlier this year at a general meeting held on June 30th in the presence presiding officer, Mr. Matthew Martinez, the new council is as follows: Elroy Castillo (President), Mario Chimilio (Vice President), Francis Arana(Secretary),Danica Noralez(Assistant Secretary), Joseph Elijio (Treasurer), Amancia Martinez (Assistant Treasurer), Tomrose Augustin (Counselor) and Simeon Chimilio (Counselor). The council aims to work together with the community to keep the Garifuna Culture alive and boisterous in San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Sun congratulates and welcomes the new council!

Ambergris Today

Tropical Wave Brought Wet Weather and Minor Flooding to San Pedro
In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, there was beach erosion, water under some houses, water in streets due to pot holes and no proper drainage, water running across streets due to close proximity to the lagoon, and water in some homes due to street improvement. Several room rentals were flooded and tenants had to find refuge elsewhere.

Ministry of Health to Implement Dengue Control Campaign in San Pedro Town
After speaking with the Dr. Jerry Lanza, Medical Director of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II in San Pedro last week, Ambergris Today was able to confirm that there has been a small outbreak of dengue on the island. This week, the Ministry of Health sent out a press release stating that they are doing more and as part of its ongoing countrywide Dengue Prevention Campaign, the Ministry is introducing an operation in San Pedro Town. The campaign includes ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying, thermal spraying of houses, premises inspections, spraying of drains and issuing of bed nets to homes in high-risk areas for dengue. A team of personnel from the Vector Control Unit was dispatched to San Pedro Town on Tuesday, August 20, to investigate and assess suspected cases of dengue that were reported in areas such as DFC, Boca del Rio and San Pablo.

Pic of the Week: Using Belikin Beer to Get the Perfect Tan in Belize
Have you heard that soaking yourself in beer is a good way to get a sun tan? I bit smelly we think, but some swear by it and say that beer gives you a great even tan. Others say it's not such a good thing to use. If you are brave enough to try it and overcome the smell of beer all over your skin, make sure you also us a good UV protector. We don't want you damaging your skin. Pictures above is Miss Mexico Costa Maya pouring some Belizean Best Belikin Beer on Miss El Salvador Costa Maya during the Costa Maya Festival that took place earlier this month. "You get the perfect tan," said Miss Mexico.

25 Years Ago: Back to School in San Pedro Many Years Ago
It was not very elaborate nor expensive as it is today, but indeed there were some preparations to go back to school many years ago in San Pedro. The Beginners and Infants I and II would be all too busy trying to get their slates and lead pencils and that was it. There was neither book list nor huge back pack that could fit all the school supplies needed for the first day of classes. A slate was a small rectangular writing tablet kind of like a mini blackboard except that was made of slate. On that slate (see photo) kids learned their A B C and Counting Numbers as well as basic mathematics, spelling, and phonics. Oh yes the children were expected to bring a small bottle with some water and a small piece of cloth to be used in erasing the writings on the slate. If they forgot they would probably be licking the slate or spitting on it to do the erasing and teachers did not like that to occur. It is to be noted that a slate was quite fragile and easily broke if dropped on the floor or used to hit someone during a children’s dispute. At the beginning of classes most children replaced their broken slates which cost 15 cents but had to be purchased in Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Dugu for tourism is an insult to Garinagu, but its potency could be useful elsewhere
“Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth but, of its very character, leaves its people intellectually and morally disoriented.” (Franz Fanon, 1966). Several members of Garifuna communities in Belize and the diaspora, as well as many other Belizeans, have expressed through radio, TV and social media, their outrage at the recent news that the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines $50 million investment on Harvest Caye would include the dügü in its Disney-like theme park as part of its marketing strategy to attract cruise tourists to Southern Belize. For those who are not aware, the dügü is the most outstanding feature of Garifuna spiritual life. This sacred ritual is conducted as a private affair for families to commune with the hiyuruha, spirits of the ancestors. It is not a public cultural event and remains closed to outsiders. Regardless of their profession, occupation or standard of education, family members who are called by the ancestors through the buyei, (shaman) are usually obligated to travel to the dabuyaba (the sacred temple) from wherever they reside in Belize or foreign countries to participate in this week-long ritual.

Miss Chiquitita 2013
They had the Miss Chiquitita pageant in Benque, and D Russell Photography was there to capture it.

BTB Banters with Breaking Bad
The Belize Tourism Board scored one on 'Breaking Bad' with the best possible reply to a negative comment involving Belize. Funny! Looks like the cast will be paying a visit to Belize themselves.

Galen Eagles Band at Carifesta XI
Carifesta has finished, and the Galen Eagles Band had a great time playing there. Check out some of their pictures from the week long fiesta. Have a safe trip back.

Channel 7

7 Year Old Presumed Drowned Near Isabella Bank
Tonight, a family from Sand Hill Village is grieving for their missing daughter, who is presumed to have drowned yesterday in Isabella Bank Village. The grief is already tough enough to handle, but the desperate search to recover her body is quite another. 7News joined the team this morning on the Belize River and Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 7 Year-old Chelsie Smith went under the water yesterday morning at around 11 and since then divers from the village and from the Coast Guard have been diving the Belize River to recover her body. But, because of the flood waters from the Tropical Wave which passed over this weekend, the river rose quite substantially between yesterday and today. The divers couldn't locate Chelsie's body today.

Female Held For Major Weed Bust In City
The GSU made a major weed bust in the city early this morning – and a woman stands accused for it – she’s seen here with the masked GSU and all the weed they say she had stowed in her apartment. It happened just after midnight when they searched an apartment at 152 Antelope Street Extension occupied by 31 year old Therese Elizabeth Eligio also known as Tanisha YOUNG. The GSU found a large red crocus sack and a large black garbage bag under a bed. The red sack contained 89 small parcels of cannabis inside separate black bags with a total weight of 9.8 kilos or 21 pounds. The large black garbage bag had 24.8 kilos or 54 pounds of compressed cannabis. Add the two up – and that’s a total of 75 pounds of weed. And police could have checked it right on scene because two scales were also found next to the drugs in the room.

Belize And Mexico To Sign Multiple Agreements
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade was in Belize for a quick visit yesterday. First, he flew by Mexican state helicopter down the Rio Hondo for a visit to the border marker at Aguas Turbias, which is considered to be the intersection of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. He also visited the new Santa Elena border crossing, and then he flew to the PGIA. From there, he shuttled to the Biltmore where he had a lunch meeting with his Belizean counterpart Wilfred Elrington. After that they had a joint press conference where Minister Elrington said it is a visit that has been long in the making:… Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs "The Foreign Secretary has made a very special effort; he's exceedingly busy to be in Belize today so that we could put together a kind of agenda for a way forward. We want to come up with an agenda of matters of importance to us."

Mayor From Sister City Chetumal Visits
Belize’s Mayor Darrell Bradley is all about building sister city relations. But every Belizean’s favourite sister city has to be Chetumal – in fact, if you go there on a long weekend right after a payday, you might think that’s actually a Belizean City! But the City of Chetumal is very Mexican and within the wider municipality of Othon P. Blanco. Its new mayor, Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui visited Belize City today. by Mayor Darrell Bradley and his council warmly welcomed him and held a press conference to highlight the purpose of his visit to Belize. Mayor Bradley also uses the visit as an opportunity to discuss recent projects of his council. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "We wanted to exchange relations and greetings - of course you know that Belize City and Chetumal have a sister city relationship, this is the oldest and most productive sister-city relationship that we have and it yields a lot of potential benefits being that Chetumal is so close.

Mayor Says Streets Held Up Through Flooding
According to the Mayor, all the streets built by the council have held up stronger without any damage even with the amount of rainfall over the weekend. He mentioned that the problem the council is facing with damage to streets and flooding are as a result of bad drainage caused by the older streets. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "Well after the rains occurred over the weekend, what we did is we deployed our people. I was out of the city for the greater portion of the weekend and when I came back I did a tour around the city and we were talking with our technical staff. One of the things that I wanted to say that the streets that the City Council has built has held up so that none of those streets that have been constructed have been damaged (86 streets so far). You will see that there is a serious issue with the intersection with Vernon street and Youth for the Future Boulevard - that area received major damage just over this weekend with the last rains; that's an area that we're looking at to concrete.

Chamber To PUDP On PAC, “Can’t You All Just Get Along?”
Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office sent out a press release laying out its position on the Public Accounts Committee. The PUP Chairman Julius Espat counter-proposed, and the public now faces another political stalemate with both sides vowing to do things their own way. Today the Chamber of Commerce sent out a release responding to the Prime Minister but not taking sides in casting blame. The release simply says that the Chamber of Commerce quote, “vigorously renews its call on both the Government of Belize and the Opposition to ensure a fully functioning Public Accounts Committee.” And, again, without endorsing any formula for composition of the P-A-C, the Chamber urges that quote, “The fundamental concern of the Chamber is to ensure that (The auditor general’s) reports are thoroughly reviewed and reported upon so that appropriate corrective measures regarding resource expenditures are taken where necessary by the Government and all its departments.”

SATIIM & US Capital Face Off
Things are getting testy between SATIIM and US Capital Energy. On Friday we told you how police tried to run interference on a SATIIM Boat that was heading out on a patrol along the Sarstoon full of alcaldes and Chairmen. Well, the police must have known that patrol were heading for to US Capital Energy’s Temash #2 Drill Site where police were waiting along with US Capital personell. US Capital sent out a release today saying that SATIIM knows full well that permission needs to be sought before entering the site because it is an active and dangerous worksite. But SATIIM issued a release today saying that, quote, “We will not be told how and when to traverse our traditional lands. We will go where we decide we need to go as we have traditionally done. US Capital or the Government of Belize will not determine our movements on our traditional lands.”

56 Year Old Accused Of Sex With Minor
56 year old Errol White is on remand at the Central Prison after he was taken to court for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a fifteen year old minor According to police, at 3:45 last Thursday evening, they visited a house at the corner of Nargusta Street and Central American Boulevard where they found the White with the minor, who was reportedly nude. The minor was taken to the hospital with a guardian to be examined and a doctor confirmed that she was carnally known. As a result, he was charged with carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton.

Police Charge Joyriding Teenager With Multiple Offence
On Friday we told you about a 16 year old who was joyriding when he flipped his truck on Coney Driver and careened into a drain. Well, police say it all started at 8:40 am when a patrol on the Northern Highway spotted a white pickup hit 32 year old Mervin Moore between miles 2 and 3. MOORE was pushing a cart and the pickup truck did not stop and render aid. Police pursued the pickup truck told the driver to pull over on the megaphone but the he refused. The driver of the pickup turned left around the Grace Kennedy roundabout heading towards Coney Drive where he lost control and the pickup overturned with the four wheels in the air in a drain. Police formally arrested and charged the 16 year of a Magazine Road address Belize City for the offences of Negligent Wounding. Drove Unlicensed Motor vehicle, Drove Motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, Drove Motor vehicle without driver’s license, failed to report an accident and Failed to stop and render aid.

U-15 Team Returns To Hero’s Welcome
Belize’s Under-15 Football Team did us proud in Cayman. As we reported last week, they went three and one, scoring 11 goals while only giving up three – and in so doing, becoming the first international team from Belize to win three games in a CONCACAF tournament. More than that, they were also recognized for their discipline and good conduct and allowed to stay in Cayman for the championship game – where they were hosted by the organizers. And in the interim the Belizeans in Cayman took them all over the island for recreation and sightseeing. They had a grand time, and today, when they returned home, they were welcomed as heroes with a motorcade:… Daniel Ortiz reporting Family, friends and fans gathered at the airport to welcome Belize’s U-15 National Football Team, a.k.a. the Junior Jaguars. And when they finally exited, applause erupted from the gathering, but the team, couldn’t really wait to greet to their well-wishers.

At Last, A New Cycling President
A dispute that started raging ten months ago in the Cycling Association ended without controversy on Sunday. Dion Leslie was elected president winning over one other candidate with a comfortable margin. That candidate was not former President Emil Moreno who lost his bid to contest when the Cayo Elections were ruled by the National Olympic Committee as irregular and had to be –re-done, boxing Moreno out of the balloting. So, after 10 months of being in the wilderness, there is now some normalcy in cycling and a new National Executive. Leslie told us today he hopes they can move forward:.. Dion Leslie - President - Belize Cycling Association "Basically, it's the future of cycling because now it means that we can move forward. We were at a standstill since October of last year, back and forth - the uncertainty in cycling when it came to sponsors, cyclists, when it came to fans and now since we've passed this point now, we've had fair elections and it was over seen by national Olympic committees' electoral body - we can move forward now. I said it already that this doesn't mean that new people are in meaning the old crowd goes out - I've said it that the crowd that was in, Mr. Moreno himself, Mr. Swift - all the people who didn't support our efforts - we will extend an olive branch to them and bring them in. Their experience in cycling, I probably won't have for another 10 or 15 years. It's not about me, not about the people who oppose Mr. Moreno, it's about the sport itself and about the cyclist and the fans.

Teenager Remanded For Stabbing
19 year-old Demoris Pook is at Prison tonight, after he was taken to court for allegedly stabbing another man on Friday. According to police, Anthony Mejia reported that while he was passing through a yard in Hattieville, he got into a quarrel with Pook, which escalated when Pook pulled out knife and stabbed him in the left side of the chest. As a result, Police arrested and charged Pook with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino who remanded him to prison due to the nature of the offences. He will be brought back to court on October 17.

Teenaged Robbers Remanded
19 year-old Justin McFoy and his 16 year-old brother are on remand tonight for allegedly robbing 3 persons According to police, 2 men and a woman reported that on Sunday, August 18, they were leaving Princess Hotel on New Town Barracks when 2 men ambushed them with a gun. The men robbed them of 2 cell phones, and a cap and ran off. Police investigated for a week, and they charged McFoy and his brother with robbery. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino today, where they pleaded not guilty to the offence. Due to the nature of the offence, they couldn’t be granted bail, and they were remanded until their next court date, which is set for October 16.

Tonight, 28 year-old Prison Officer Ajany Smith Jr. is at prison after he was allegedly busted with weed inside the prison facility. According to police, just after 11 on Saturday morning, Smith was at work and he started to complain that his right foot pained him. He was on his way to the medical center when he was stopped and searched by one of his co-workers who found 2 plastic bags containing marijuana in his pants pocket. The drugs were weighed in his presence which amounted to 54.6 ounces – or 1.93 ounces of marijuana, and as a result, he was charged with drug trafficking. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano who granted him bail of 3,000 which he was able to meet. He is expected back in court on October 23.

Channel 5

Punta Gorda Magistrate’s is gutted by fire
The Punta Gorda Magistrate Court closed today for proceedings as the Fire Department investigates the origins of a blaze. Officers on patrol of the area came across the blaze at [...]

Coast Guard continues to search for the body of a young girl
Here in the Belize District, the Belize National Coast Guard is conducting an intensive search of the Old Belize River near the village of Isabella Bank in the Belize River [...]

Channel Five nabs 2 Regional Awards…
Great Belize Productions has won two major awards from the Caribbean Broadcasting Union. The awards were announced at the recently concluded annual general meeting of the CBU held in Georgetown, [...]

…Marleni Cuellar and Isani Cayetano, award winning journalists
As I mentioned, the team of Isani Cayetano and Chris Mangar walked away with the award for Best News Feature for their story entitled ‘Support Continues to Flow for Decriminalization [...]

Baby jaguars given a hero’s welcome
The Under-Fifteen Football team returned to the jewel this afternoon to a warm welcome that climaxed with a motorcade through principal streets. The team performed remarkably well winning three of [...]

SATIIM and Maya Leaders risk going into the Temash without authorization
In the south…On Friday morning, a mission comprised of park rangers employed by the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), as well as community leaders from several Maya [...]

Mexican Foreign Minister Visit: commits to reconstruct City Center
Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena was in Belize on a brief working visit on Sunday afternoon during which he made a call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred [...]

Major drug bust by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting a major marijuana find.  At midday today, the GSU searched a one bedroom apartment on Antelope Street Extension whose occupant is Therese Elizabeth Eligio [...]

56 year old charged for the carnal knowledge of 15 year old
A fifty-six year old Belize City man appeared in court this morning following an allegation of sexual abuse made by a fifteen year old minor.  Reports are that the minor [...]

Mark Seawell back in court…
Today arguments continued at the Supreme Court in the extradition case of Mark Seawell. The US has applied for Seawell’s extradition on the grounds that he and his brothers operated [...]

Belize City Council Strengthening Sister City Relations
The City Council joined up today with a visiting delegation from Othon P. Blanco, from the neighboring state of Quintana Roo. Both municipalities continue to enjoy the longest running sister [...]

Exclusive Performance by Lova Boy at Be the Next Superstar!
Earlier we told you about our award winning stories that have gain regional recognition. Well tonight, there is an award winning artist, entrepreneur, businessman and musician. He is called the [...]

James Adderley and the Weekend Sporting Highlights
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The long awaited election for the 1st national president of the Belize Cycling Association was staged at the UWI [...]


Mexican Delegation on Working Visit in Belize
A delegation from the Southern Mexican municipality of Othon P Blanco in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, is in Belize on a working visit. The delegation, headed by newly elected Mayor, Eduardo Abuxapqui, will discuss with its Belize City and San Pedro counterparts areas of trade and other relations. Following a morning ceremony at City Hall today, Mayor Darrell Bradley spoke to reporters about the scope of the discussions. Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City (3-24) (Mexico) “We wanted to exchange relations and greetings; of course, you know that Belize City and Chetumal have a sister city relationship; this is the oldest and most productive sister city relationship that we have and it yields lots of potential for benefits being that Chetumal is so close. Of course, even without a formal relationship between municipalities, Belizeans and Mexicans already share their close kinship; Belizeans always go to Chetumal – it’s their favorite vacation spot and so when Mayor Abuxapqui was elected, we extended an invitation for him to come to Belize City so we can renew gestures of friendship. We already have a formal sister city relationship but we wanted to extend greetings to him, congratulatory remarks on his recent win and we also wanted to express our commitment to really working with him in a hand of friendship so that we could discuss very specific ways that we could promote more relations.

Coast Guard Continues Search for Young Girl in Belize Waters
A search team was in Isabella Bank in Rural Belize today seeking for the body of a seven year old girl from Sandhill Village. Chelsie Smith and her mother, Pamela Olivera travelled to Isabella bank Village for a birthday party but on that morning, while fishing, the little girl drowned and tonight the family is desperately seeking for her body. It’s a very unfortunate incident and reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Brian Castillo were in Isabella Bank today for some answers. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Seven year old Chelsie Smith along with her mother, Pamela Olivera, arrived at Isabella Bank Village on Sunday morning to attend a birthday party but as the day progressed the festivity turned into tragedy. The seven year old was along with her mother and couple of other children fishing alongside the banks of the Belize Old River that Sunday morning at about 11 o’clock. While the other children kept to the shallow part of the river, Chelsie strayed to the deeper end and suddenly was submerged into the murky water. As the father, Christopher Smith, explained, Chelsie fell off an underwater trench.

Foreign Affairs Offices for Belize and Mexico Meet On Border Security
On Sunday, a Mexican delegation led by Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena arrived in Belize to meet with Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington and other relevant key personnel. Belize and Mexico are close neighbors but according to Elrington and Kuribena that closeness is only due to geography and so both countries are looking to strengthen the bond between each other. According to both Elrington and Kuribena, the plan is to design, formalize and implement a bilateral legal framework that will benefit both countries. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “Things that we will have to be doing is enter into legal arrangements, legal framework to allow us to do trade with each other and to protect that trade we have to a special agreement protecting the investment of our investors; double taxation treaties, we will have to enter into; extradition treaties, we will have to be getting into. We want to develop more cooperation in terms of education, in terms of security, in terms of health. There are some things that we are presently doing and there are some things that we want to do in the future and so we came together at this meeting to try to formalize those matters.”

Minor Hits Pedestrian and Attempts to Elude Police In Chase
A 16 year-old of Belize City finds himself facing a heap of traffic offences after he reportedly knocked down a man with a vehicle and then refused to follow police orders to stop, resulting in a second incident. Police say that the incident happened at around eight-40 last Friday night when they were on mobile patrol between miles two and three on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The white Chevrolet 3500 pickup truck which the youth was driving towards Belize City, reportedly hit a 32 year old Mervin Moore, who was pushing a cart in the same direction. But police allege that the youth did not stop and they engaged the police overhead lights, pursued the vehicle, and instructed the driver to pull over. Police say that the driver refused to comply and instead, turned left around the Grace Kennedy roundabout heading towards Coney Drive where he lost control and the pickup overturned in the drain with its four wheels in the air. The youth has since been charged with Negligent Wounding, Driving an Unlicensed Motor Vehicle, Driving a Motor Vehicle Not Covered by Third Party Risk Insurance, Driving a Motor Vehicle without a Driver’s License, Failure to Report an Accident and Failure to Stop and Render Aid.

Delivery Truck Loses Control and Overturns
A traffic accident took place this afternoon on the Phillip Goldson Highway, about a half mile away from the Haulover Bridge when heading in the direction of Ladyville. What happened is that a Tutsi truck, that is a small truck carrying Tutsi Ideals overturned on the highway. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and slid down the highway. From what we observed it didn’t seem that the truck slid such a long distance. The driver of the truck was unhurt and giving his report when we arrived at the scene. We were told that there was another person in the truck, the side man who was transported into Belize City. We understand he was unhurt but still shaky about the incident. Luckily no other person in the area was hurt and there was only minimal damage to the truck and a couple burst ideals on the road. Police and firefighters inspected the area and questioned the driver at the sight. The driver would not give an interview so we were not able to get his name. The incident occurred shortly before 3:00 p.m this afternoon.

Female Minor Says She Had Sex with Elderly Man
Fifty-six year old Errol White, a.k.a. “Pepes”, a resident of Croton Lane, was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge of a female 15 years and 8 months old when he appeared in court today. No plea was taken from him because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offence. He was remanded into custody until October 16. The incident occurred on Thursday, August 22. The girl reported to the police that she went to White’s house and White had sex with her. The police conducted an investigation which resulted in his White’s arrest.

Opposition Calls Press Conference in Capital City
Last week we told you about the statement from the Office of the Prime Minister in response to the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee as requested by the Chairman of the Committee, Julius Espat and supported by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the release from the Prime Minister’s office, it stated that proposal to restrict PAC is inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House. Today the BCCI sent out another response. In its release, it states that quote, “The Chamber vigorously renews its call on both the government of Belize and the Opposition to ensure a fully functioning Public Accounts Committee,” end out quote. As explained in the release, the functions of PAC are to examine, consider and report on Government’s financial accounts including the report of the Auditor General. The Chamber’s concern is to ensure that the reports are quote, “thoroughly reviewed and reported upon so that appropriate corrective measures regarding resource expenditures are taken where necessary by the Government and all its department,” end out quote. In related news the People’s United Party has called a press conference for tomorrow morning at the steps of the national assembly building.

Prison Officer Caught Smuggling Weed
Twenty-eight year old Ajany Smith, a prison officer who allegedly attempted to smuggle 54.6 grams of cannabis into Belize Central Prison, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Smith pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until October 23. The incident occurred around 11:20 p.m. yesterday. Police reports are that Smith reported for work last night and when he walked into the prison limping, complaining of pain in his right leg, he was taken to the prison’s medical center. Upon his arrival he was searched and the search resulted in the discovery of the cannabis in two black plastic bags in the right front pocket of his pants. As a result, the police were called in and Smith was taken into custody and charged.

Hattieville Resident Arraigned for Attempted Murder
Nineteen year old Demores Pook, a laborer of Hattieville, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Pook was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. Pook was remanded into custody until October 17. The incident occurred around 8 a.m. on Friday, August 23. The complainant, Anthony Mejia, a resident of Hattieville, reported to the police that he was walking through a yard when he met Pook and they had a misunderstanding which led to an altercation. Mejia said during the altercation, Pook pulled out a knife and stabbed him in his chest. Mejia was taken to KHMH where the doctor who examined him classified his injury as dangerous harm.

Police News: Arson and Burglary
A nurse from Ladyville reported to police that her home a forty feet by twenty feet bungalow cement structure was burglarized on Friday August 23,. The burglar or burglars gained access by prying open the window louvers. The stole over five thousand seven hundred dollars- worth of items which include, jewelry, electronics and personal items. A case of suspected arson is being investigated in Belize City. A Professor from the University of Belize and resident of Buttonwood Bay, reported to police that on Friday August 23, sometime around 11:30 p.m, he heard the neighbor’s dog barking and shortly after heard a loud bang on a Nissan Pathfinder which was parked beside his house. He reportedly made checks immediately and when he looked through his window he saw that there was a fire outside, next to the vehicle. He immediately called for police assistance and triggered his house alarm to alert neighbors. He then allegedly came out with water to extinguish the fire and saw a broken Belikin bottle with a cloth which smelled of kerosene or gasoline on fire. He extinguished it and made checks around the house and saw no one in the immediate area. The vehicle was not damaged.


Children Of Corozal Bay Go Back To School With New Haircut and School Supplies
Children in the Corozal District, specifically those residing in the Corozal Bay Division, received much needed school supplies. One more week remains before classes re-open across the country and at...

LICU Empowers Entrepreneurs Through SSEDAT 2 Program
Students and local entrepreneurs from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts received much needed assistance to pen down their ideas to make it money-worthy. The business proposal writing training workshop...

Chamber Of Commerce Reiterates Support For Restructuring of PAC
Tonight the fight for the restructuring of the Public’s Account Committee continues and it seems its one which will go on for quiet a while as more organizations are coming...

Mother Asks For Justice On Anniversary Of Her Sons Death
Most hit and run accidents in Belize have gone unsolved especially those that occur in the dark pitch of the night. Included among the list of unsolved cases, is that...

BCVI Burglarized , Criminals Escape With Two Computers
Recent statistics for the Orange Walk District show that up to the end of July, 48 burglaries have been recorded. Tonight, it’s safe to say that, that number has increased...

Heavy Rains Batter Orange Walk, Flooding Recorded
Over the weekend the District of Orange Walk was battered by heavy rains caused by the passing of a Tropical Wave. The downpour caused flooding in many areas across...


SATIIM charges intimidation of Park Rangers by Police
On Friday morning PLUS News was informed, via text message by Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, that “Police attempted to intimidate SATIIM traditional leaders from patrolling their traditional lands.” SATIM has refused to sign on to a co-management agreement with the Government of...

Commissioner of Lands receives death threat
The Commissioner of Lands, Wilbert Vallejos, has been the recipient of a death threat. Reports to PlusNews are that sometime last week, Mr Vallejos received an envelope addressed to him. Inside that envelope was a matchbox. On opening the matchbox, Wilbert Vallejos found a 9 millimeter bullet inside. Written...

Magistrate says he believes accused over cops
The case of 21-year-old Freetown Road resident, Deon Vernon was on trial on Friday. Mr Vernon was charged with insulting words and wounding of police officer, PC Jaidomiro Patt. But 23 pictures showed in court on Friday suggested a different story, leading Magistrate Lucas to rule in favor of...

Minor flips over Flatbed Truck
It may not be news that a minor would steal a parent’s car to go “joy-riding”, but it is news when that minor ends up in a speed chase with the police. That is exactly what happened Friday morning around 9:15 on Coney Drive. It appears that police observed...

Man attacked in Mahogany Heights home
Some minutes after midnight , Kenneth Flowers, a resident of Mahogany Heights Village along the George Price Highway, was home alone in his bedroom when a man entered his room and inflicted several chop wounds to his face. When the police arrived at the scene, Kenneth Flowers...

One person detained following stabbing of taxi driver
Police have one person detained following the stabbing of a cab driver. Last night we reported on the incident but police have now issued a release with more details. Yesterday afternoon, the driver, Nigerian 33 year old Uguchugu Christopher picked up a young man who asked to be taken...

Re-activating the Port of Dangriga
Last week Thursday, the Government of Belize reclaimed possession of the Port at Commerce Bight, which was at the time being managed by the Port of Belize Limited. Government charges that owners Port of Belize Limited have failed to properly manage or develop the Port, including promised dredging of...

Gwen Lizarraga High School introduces “Open School” program
Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City has hosted an “evening division” for would-be students who are seeking higher education and skills. That program will be boosted by the launch of a technologically based “open school” that takes education beyond the walls of a standard academic institution. The high...

Police QRT teams get specialized training
I Is Belize becoming a major transit for drugs and weapons? That’s what various outside sources have been suggesting. And local authorities are hoping to catch these criminals if and when they engage in illegal trafficking. Since Tuesday, a group of 11 personnel from the...

Police report decrease in major crimes
In more positive news coming out of the Police Department, this week, the crime statistics for the period of January to July were released and it shows a notable decrease in major crimes. The offense that saw the greatest reduction is robbery – last year recorded 302 cases while...

Orange Walk pastor missing after allegations of impropriety
On Friday night the search continued for a former pastor in Orange Walk accused of soliciting money and sexual favors from women at the congregation he once led. The women, who are still coming out in numbers, allege that the former head of Ministerios Zion Central Assemblies of God...

Project focuses on improving children’s health and nutrition in the Toledo District
In 2011 a group called the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF) in collaboration with the World Bank and the Ministry of Health in Belize embarked on a project to improve children’s health and nutrition in the Toledo District. This project mainly targets children in the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Letter to the Editor — I enjoy Chris’ pieces
I would like to congratulate long time island resident Chris Roggema for putting thoughts to paper and sharing them with the Caye Caulker Chronicles. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading his pieces, and would like to encourage him to publish more of them. I would also like to encourage any other readers who have thoughts they would like to share to please send in their contributions as well. It is only through expressing our thoughts that we can learn more about each other and what makes our community unique.

The Reporter

Major crimes down by 12.7% countrywide
The number of major crimes has generally fallen up to the end of July, compared to the same period of 2012. And the police say that the decrease is as much as 12.7%.

Will BISL “pay to play”?
By Aaron Humes Freelance Reporter The Government of Belize removed the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) and International Business Companies Registries from the control of the Michael Ashcroft-allied Belize International Services Limited (BISL) in June, alleging that the previous administration had signed an invalid extension to the original agreement. [...]

Maya want to be consulted on Harvest Caye project
By Aaron Humes Freelance Reporter Norwegian Cruise Lines’ interest in a US$50 million development on the island of Harvest Caye just south of the Big Creek Port in the South Stann Creek District is causing disquiet for the Garifuna and Maya communities, whom project director Hugh Darley said will [...]

FECTAB to GOB: NCL project a big mistake
Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) objected Wednesday to Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government and Norwegian Cruise Line for the development of the Harvest Caye cruise tourism port in southern Belize.

Fight over Public Accounts Committee continues
The Prime Minister’s Office took an official position against the proposed changes to the Public Accounts Committee; however, PAC Chairman Hon. Julius Espat says the reasons are “bogus.”

National Garifuna Council to NCL: Dügü is sacred
The National Garifuna Council condemned Norwegian Cruise Line’s announcement that it will use the sacred ceremony of ‘Dügü’ as a daily tourist attraction. This week the NGC issued a release saying that the idea to use the ceremony as an everyday attraction is “indicative of arrogance and ignorance on the [...]

Taiwan donates Bz. $1.3 million for Tilapia project at Central Farm
On Tuesday this week the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated $651,725 USD to the Ministry of Agriculture for the GOB-ROC (Taiwan) Aquaculture Project. The cheque was presented by the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) Ambassador, His Excellency David Wu, to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Hon. [...]

Convicted child molester, Nicannor Fermin will spend 18 years behind bars
Nicannor Fermin, 41, who was convicted last month on multiple counts of carnal knowledge, was sentenced to 64 years in prison, after a mitigation hearing in the Supreme Court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez, on Friday.

Pitbull attacks mother and child, both escape with wounds
Three-year-old Alicia Guardado escaped sure death in the jaws of a pitbull at around six o’clock on Saturday morning when the dog pounced on her during a barking frenzy among dogs in the yard where she lives at 56 Iguana Street Extension in Belize City.

Beefing up the FIU with laws to meet international standards
The Government of Belize has been taking the necessary legislative measures to bring the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) up to level with international standards to fight money laundering and terrorism, FIU Director Marilyn Williams told Reporter on August 14.

CWU and stevedores agree on way forward. President Gonzalez to retire!
The embattled leadership of the Christian Workers Union (CWU), which came under fire from Belize City stevedores, who demanded the resignation of its president and general secretary, managed to agree on an exit strategy on Monday.

Human Rights and Law Enforcement
Cynthia Pitts Trustee, Human Rights Commission of Belize Many times you hear and see on the TV and other news media injured young men relating disgusting incidents of violence against them by the GSU or regular police officers. Shortly after, there would be a response either denying the accusation [...]

Cocoa might prevent memory decline
Drinking cocoa every day may help older people keep their brains healthy, research suggests. A study of 60 elderly people with no dementia found two cups of cocoa a day improved blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with.

Marijuana pill may be better for pain relief
A pill form of marijuana provides greater pain relief than when a person smokes it, according to a new study. The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University in New York and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. The pill, known as Dronabinol, contains the active ingredient of marijuana – [...]

Guatemala advances by 1-0 win vs Belize in CONCACAF U-15 championships
Belize scored two goals early in the first half and went on to defeat Jamaica, 3-1. The result improved the Central American side to 2-0-0, while Jamaica lost for the first time in three games (2-0-1, 6 points). A fifth minute strike from Alvin Sifontes – his second goal of [...]

Belize loses 7 at PanAm’s Women’s Softball Games
Belize’s participation at the VIII Pan American Softball Championships at in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico last week has been a learning experience for the national women’s softball team, which failed to qualify to the second round. The team as did not win a single game in seven outing. and returned home, [...]


Expat Living – Finding a way to live and work in Belize
Often I get emails from people who are ready to fulfill their dreams of moving to Belize. Not everyone is in a position to make their move abroad, retire and drink Belikin beer or rum punch on the beach all day. A husband and wife team who recently wrote me from Biloxi, Mississippi are in process of doing their research to see if they can “make it work” and enjoy the tropical lifestyle while still making a decent living. Scott and Monique, I know you will find Tamara’s answers to my questions below helpful in putting your puzzle together. For those of you who want to do the same, Quicksilver Messenger service offers relocation services and information, helping to make your move to Belize easy. Dianne Lawrence can help you with anything from accommodation assistance and opening bank accounts to utility hook-up, land title acquisition, assistance with vehicle permits and more. 1. What made you choose a trip to Belize in the first place? My parents first traveled to Belize and Ambergris Caye in 1976. My first visit to the island was in 1978 when I came along with them on vacation.

Placencia, Belize: Lovely, Charming Beach Village with PLENTY Going ON
Why oh why did it take me over 6 years to visit Placencia? It is SO easy to see in only a few days why so many people are in love with this area. Tiny, friendly, great food, fanatastic bars, amazing wildlife, an endless beach, a real feel of community and a real love of its history as a fishing village…and it’s not just history. Placencia, in many ways, still feels like a fishing village. They’ve just grown into so much more… And I absolutely LOVE that I feel like I am on vacation, in a totally different world, less than 100 miles away from San Pedro. It’s one of the coolest things about Belize. I’m a sucker for a cute kid. Here is a good map of the immediate area. The town is all the way at the end. I am now “above the airstrip” at The Inn At Robert’s Grove…near Seine Bight Village. And feeling pretty lucky about that too. The tiny village of Placencia oozes Belizean charm…that’s the only way to say it. And I extended my stay just one more night because…well…I’m loving it.

The Beauty of Southern Belize – a few thoughts
It’s amazing how far Belize has come in the last few decades. Prior to independence in September 1981 (and stay tuned for more word on the upcoming annual Belize Independence Day celebrations) the former British Honduras was virtually unknown as a tourism destination and was still struggling along with an agrarian economy. Having been blessed with such rich, fertile land and a Caribbean seacoast teeming with fish and marine life, it was often said that Belizeans may have been poor, but never desperate, as it was almost impossible to starve amid such natural abundance. Even in Southern Belize, which I first visited in the 1970s, life was good. The bad roads meant that the remote part of the country seemed a very long way from what little luxuries Belize City and Belmopan could offer back then, but one was immediately struck with how clean and orderly the little villages were, and how self-sufficient the people were.

Horchata (pronounced Or-cha-ta) is a drink made from rice and milk. This drink is mostly found in Latin American countries. The drink is very tasty and satisfying.

How to make sure there’s a market for your Business Idea!
You’ve got a killer new product or a service that will have the world beating a path to your door. But is it really something people want? Or is it just something you think they want? Having solid information about what your customers want to buy — rather than what you want to sell them — can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as peace of mind and sanity.

Invest in Belize
The government of Belize aims to provide an enabling environment for private enterprise, to attract investments in Belize by both local and foreign investors. A series of legislation was enacted in the early 1990s to allow for a range of incentives for those looking to invest in Belize. The conditions to qualify for the different incentives vary, as do the investment incentives themselves–e.g., a tax holiday, or import duty exemption, or a combination of both. Benefits, however, are dependent upon the type of incentive awarded to the potential investor. Export-oriented activities, which lead to increased employment, and the development of local, technological infrastructure, are particularly favorable to the authorities. The government supports joint venture and partnership investments as a preferred mechanism, however it also allows 100% foreign ownership of an enterprise. Importation of highly skilled personnel to compliment the Belizean labor force is facilitated providing that appropriate training programs for nationals are established. Generally, the government hopes to see one local counterpart assigned for every skilled foreigner employed by the company.

International Sources

There'll be a change in the weather
Years ago, when I wanted to pack up and move to Belize, my Closest Companion squashed the idea because, she said, she loves the changing of the seasons in New Jersey. It wasn’t that she was particularly fond of winters, but that she appreciates the changes — how a gorgeous summer can turn into a majestic autumn, and how a bitter winter can evolve into a brilliant spring. I wanted to go to Belize, buy a 45-foot power boat and open a charter business. Belize is not only a Central American land country — there are hundreds of small islands that are part of Belize, which has a major coral reef offshore. It’s a diver’s paradise and all those divers need a way to get from island to island and to dive points. That’s where I would have come in. I wanted to do some writing, too. My Closest Companion objected, saying she didn’t want to become a galley slave. I told her I’d make plans to ensure that didn’t happen. I wanted to advertise all over the country for college students to work aboard the boat. For $100, lodging and food, they could handle cooking and boating duties. And, attractive college students in bathing suits would make for good charters. To my regret, my Closest Companion didn’t buy my idea, so, here we are, all these years later. Belize has now become a major tourist attraction, which it wasn’t back then, and we are here enjoying the changing of the seasons in New Jersey.

BCB Holdings to sell Caye Chapel
BCB Holdings has agreed to sell Caye Chapel, a resort island in Belize, for $30.0m to Yumi Limited, a British Virgin Islands company funded by private equity. The terms of the transaction provide for an initial non-refundable payment prior a due diligence period from 1 September to 14 November and a final closing on December 20, 2013. The disposal valuation is in line with book value.

Mass Dolphin Deaths Linked to Measles-Like Virus
From New York to Virginia, dead dolphins have been washing ashore in unusually large numbers this summer. As of Aug. 20, nearly 300 stranded bottlenose dolphins had been reported in the region, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, nearly seven times more than normal in some places. As experts continue to investigate the cause, the leading contender is an infection called morbillivirus. Related to human measles and canine distemper, the virus seems to cause sporadic epidemics among dolphins. Many years, there are no detected cases, but when the virus hits, it can hit hard. The last epidemic struck off the Atlantic coast in the winter of 1987-88, killing more than 740 animals from New Jersey to Florida. For now, there is no official announcement to confirm that morbillivirus is the culprit in the current outbreak, though experts involved in the investigation say that the virus has been confirmed in at least some of this year’s stranded dolphins.

Wife of Belize PM to visit Taiwanese charity groups
The wife of Belize's prime minister, Kim Simplis Barrow, will visit Taiwan to learn more about efforts by Taiwanese charity groups to care for disadvantaged groups and explore further cooperation on humanitarian aid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday. During her Aug. 27-Sept. 1 trip, Barrow is scheduled to meet with Dharma Master Cheng Yen, who established the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation in the eastern county of Hualien to help the poor and relieve suffering, the ministry said in a statement. The foundation, one of the most-renowned Taiwanese charity groups, now has offices in more than 40 countries.

Obama considers plan to bolster Mexico's southern border
3-layer security line 140 miles from Central America neighbor to fight drug, human trafficking. Obama administration and Mexican government officials recently discussed creating a three-tier security system designed to protect Mexico’s southern border from drug and human traffickers, according to U.S. officials. The border control plan calls for U.S. funding and technical support of three security lines extending more than 100 miles north of Mexico’s border with Guatemala and Belize. The border security system would use sensors and intelligence-gathering to counter human trafficking and drug running from the region, a major source of illegal immigration into the United States.

This Saturday night Team Belize and Team Mexico take it inside the octagon for MMA Style Fights
This Saturday night Team Belize and Team Mexico take it to the octagon for another exciting night of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) style fights very much like the UFC. Get ready for the excitement as you will witness all the techniques as these two teams battle it out to see whose team will emerge victorious. You can take a look at the last Championship fight here.

August 26, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

World Bank, Ministry of Health and the Japanese Social Development Fund collaborate for Child Health Fund
The Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Bank and the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF) continue to work closely together to promote better health for women and children in communities of the Toledo District. This week, members of the World Bank Team are in Belize meeting with officials from the Ministry of Health to monitor the implementation phase of the JSDF Grant which funds the “Improving Children’s Health and Nutrition” project. The project is being implemented by the Toledo District Health Council (TDHC) with the Ministry of Health providing oversight of the process. Working sessions to share the results and progress of this project are being held throughout the week facilitated by technical advisors of the Ministry of Health and members of the World Bank team led by Senior Operations Manager for the Grant, Carmen Carpio. Carpio said, “The project focuses on pre-natal care, nutrition monitoring in the critical window of opportunity and school health interventions at the primary school level. We are hopeful that through strong community engagement the project will have a positive impact at the local level in strengthening the quality and access to health services in Toledo District and that our experience in that area serve as a model in good nutrition monitoring practices for the country.”This week the team will make field visits to schools in the southern districts and also facilitate workshop sessions with Ministry of Health representatives and community leaders of the south.

Misc Belizean Sources

Dugu for tourism is an insult to Garinagu, but its potency could be useful elsewhere
“Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth but, of its very character, leaves its people intellectually and morally disoriented.” (Franz Fanon, 1966). Several members of Garifuna communities in Belize and the diaspora, as well as many other Belizeans, have expressed through radio, TV and social media, their outrage at the recent news that the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines $50 million investment on Harvest Caye would include the dügü in its Disney-like theme park as part of its marketing strategy to attract cruise tourists to Southern Belize. For those who are not aware, the dügü is the most outstanding feature of Garifuna spiritual life. This sacred ritual is conducted as a private affair for families to commune with the hiyuruha, spirits of the ancestors. It is not a public cultural event and remains closed to outsiders. Regardless of their profession, occupation or standard of education, family members who are called by the ancestors through the buyei, (shaman) are usually obligated to travel to the dabuyaba (the sacred temple) from wherever they reside in Belize or foreign countries to participate in this week-long ritual.

Body of Mexican retrieved from Rio On Pool
The body of a man has been retrieved from the Rio On Pool in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Cayo district less than 24 hours after he fell from a rock. Dr. Marcelino Sosa, a Mexican veterinarian attached to the ongoing National Cattle Sweep program, lost his life when he apparently lost his balance while walking on the rocks to get a closer look at the waterfall and plummeted to his death. With the help of co-workers, Sosa’s body was retrieved from the bottom of the pool and taken to the morgue at the San Ignacio community hospital where it now awaits a post mortem examination.

Belize falls shy of a medal in the juvenile Central American volleyball championship
Belize’s junior female national volleyball team concluded their participation in the 15th Women’s U-20 Central American Championship just shy of a medal. Team Belize suffered back-to-bad defeats, first by Guatemala on Saturday and then by Costa Rica on Sunday to finish with a 3-3 record and a fourth place finish with a total of 12 points. The bronze medal went to Costa Rica who finished with a 4-2 record and 21 points.

BNDC Closing Carifesta
The Belize National Dance Company was invited to perform for the closing ceremonies of Carifesta. Not surprising, since they've wowed audiences while there, along with music supplied by the Galen Eagles Band. Have a great time! "BNDC has been invited to PERFORM one of our own Choreographies for the Closing of CARIFESTA XI tomorrow!!!!! We're going to ROCK that stage, Belizean Style with the drums!!!!!!! So excited and honored!!!!!!" BNDC has been invited to PERFORM one of our own Choreographies for the Closing of CARIFESTA XI tomorrow!!!!! We're going to ROCK that stage, Belizean Style with the drums!!!!!!! So excited and honored!!!!!!

Panoramic view of San Ignacio Town, Cayo
Minus the storm clouds in the distance, this is an awesome panoramic view of San Ignacio Town, Cayo. This is a panoramic view of San Ignacio town from one of the balconies at the Cahal Pech resort in San Ignacio Town.


Norwegian Cruise Lines Buys Harvest Caye in Belize: Is it the End of Placencia As We Know It?
First time visitors to any place in Belize often hear the phrase “oh…you should have seen (insert: Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye or Placencia) 5 years ago or 10 years ago…” before San Pedro got rid of the hand ferry and built the Barry Bowen Bridge to access the north end of the island (2006) or before Placencia paved the one long road that runs down the narrow peninsula (2010). These days are known to one and all as “the good old days” or let’s get local…”bak eena di day”. Everyone remembers a simpler, more charming, just plain better time. For some reason, the first time you visited Belize (or for locals, the Belize of your childhood) always seems the best. That’s just the way life work. Time sweetens all memories. The projects above led to gradual change, to progress, many would argue. But what would happen if a multi-billion dollar cruise ship company bought an island less than 3 miles off the shores of your small town…and with only the most vague plans in place (big payoffs, few details), took advantage of the slow season, sluggish worldwide economy and divided local factions and made an agreement with your small government to bring in tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of tourists with promises that seem to change by the day?

“Behind Closed Doors” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up just after 05.00 hours yesterday morning for some ‘veranda time’ (coffee, The Times online – regular readers know the script) in advance of the Fulham v Arsenal game at 06.00 hours (local time of course). When I got out on the veranda it was obvious that it had rained during the night (puddles on the chairs, table wet, etc) but it gave no hint of what was to come. Just before I was about to make my move to get in front of the television the sky got very dark and the wind whipped up. This was followed by a lightish downpour of rain just before I got inside. And then the real thing came. It absolutely bucketed down. View from inside the condo (there was no way I was going outside in that weather!). The game started and Arsenal quite quickly went in to the lead. And then the signal was lost ( living here this is one of the things you just have to get used to). By the time transmission resumed Arsenal had scored a second goal. Fortunately – even though the storm like weather continued – the signal remained intact until the end of the game. A game that Arsenal ended up winning by three goals to one.

Turnips 2 Tangerines: Amish Onion Cake
Amish Onion Cake 3 to 4 medium onyuns, choppet. I uset 2 cups cold butt'r, dividet 1 T poppy seeds 1 1/2 t salt 1 1/2 t paprika 1 t coarselee groun pepp'r 4 cups all-purrpus flour 1/2 cup cernstarch 1 T bakyun' powd'r 1 T sugar 1 T brown sugar 5 aigs 3/4 cup milk 3/4 cup sour creem N' a large skillet, cook onyuns n' 1/2 cup butt'r ov'r loe heat fer 10 minnuts. Stir n' t'poppy seeds, salt, paprika an' pepp'r; cook until golte brown, stirryun' occasyunallee. Remoov frum t'heat; set aside.

International Sources

Infographic: 4,000 Years Of Human History Captured In One Retro Chart
IN 1931, JOHN B. SPARKS DISTILLED HUMAN CIVILIZATION INTO A SINGLE CHART. EVEN TODAY, IT’S GREAT INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN. If time is a river, the Histomap, created by John B. Sparks and first published by Rand McNally back in 1931, is a raging Mississippi. In that massive river of time, each of humanity’s great civilizations becomes a confluence that ebbs, wanes, and sometimes ebbs again, each a separate current in a river that inexorably rages down to the mouth of the present day. Although certainly not modern, the Histomap is still a breathtaking example of good infographic design: A five-foot, roll-up chart that can fit an overview of human history on any wall. Starting in 2000 B.C. with seven different civilizations--the Aegeans, the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Iranians, the Indians, the Huns, and the Chinese--you travel forward or backward in time as your eyes move up or down 0.75 inches. Some civilizations bleed together, others are swallowed up; some surge, others crash.

Where Sand Is Gold, the Reserves Are Running Dry
With inviting beaches that run for miles along South Florida’s shores, it is easy to put sand into the same category as turbo air-conditioning and a decent mojito — something ever present and easily taken for granted. As it turns out, though, sand is not forever. Constant erosion from storms and tides and a rising sea level continue to swallow up chunks of beach along Florida’s Atlantic coastline. Communities have spent the last few decades replenishing their beaches with dredged-up sand. But in South Florida — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties — concerns over erosion and the quest for sand are particularly urgent for one reason: there is almost no sand left offshore to replenish the beaches. In these communities, sand is far from disposable; it is a precious commodity. So precious, in fact, that it has set off skirmishes among counties and has unleashed an intense hunt for more offshore sand by federal, state and local officials who are already fretting over the next big storm. No idea is too far-fetched in this quest, not even a proposal to grind down recycled glass and transform it into beach sand. The once-shelved idea is now being reconsidered by Broward County. The situation is so dire that two counties to the north — St. Lucie and Martin — are being asked to donate their own offshore sand in the spirit of neighborliness. “You have counties starting wars with each other over sand,” said Kristin Jacobs, the Broward County mayor, who has embraced the recycled glass idea as a possible stopgap. “Everybody feels like these other counties are going to steal their sand.”

Ole Miss project wins RFK Journalism Award
A multimedia project about the University of Mississippi's service learning program in Belize has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for college students. Five students created it as part of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media's foreign study course titled "multimedia storytelling." They traveled to Belize with two assistant professors during the 2012 winter intersession to report on service learning projects by Ole Miss Study Abroad students. Margaret Ann Morgan, Jajuan McNeil, Aubry Killion, Cain Madden and Katie Williamson created a magazine, videos and a television series documenting a road built for the San Mateo Empowerment Project.

Mexican foreign secretary to visit Mexico-Belize border region
Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade is scheduled to visit the region along the border with Belize on Sunday, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said. Meade plans to visit different areas along Mexico's 236.5-kilometer (147-mile) border with Belize and is slated to meet with his Belizean counterpart, Wilfred Elrington, the secretariat said. "This working visit is in response to the strategic importance that Mexico places on Belize in the context of having a southern border that is prosperous and secure," the secretariat said. Meade's visit will allow him to learn more about conditions on the border so priorities can be identified for cooperation projects that create jobs and prosperity, the secretariat said. Mexico is Belize's No. 2 trading partner, with bilateral trade soaring 98.2 percent from the $68.6 million registered in 2002 to $135.9 million in 2012, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said. Mexico exports electricity, iron rods, steel and cement to Belize.

August 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Ministry of Health to implement Dengue Control in San Pedro Town
As a part of its ongoing countrywide Dengue Prevention Campaign, the Ministry of Health is introducing an operation in San Pedro Town. The campaign includes ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying, thermal spraying of houses, premises inspections, spraying of drains and issuing of bed nets to homes in high-risk areas for dengue. A team of personnel from the Vector Control Unit was dispatched to San Pedro Town on Tuesday, August 20, to investigate and assess suspected cases of dengue that were reported in areas such as DFC, Boca del Rio and San Pablo. The issuance of chemically-treated bed nets has proven to be the most effective form of personal protection to reduce dengue transmission. This initiative is free of cost to the residents and is being carried out in close collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council.

Misc Belizean Sources

Jezelle is Top Model of the Week
Cayo's Jezelle, who models at many of the fashion shows, was named Top Model of the Week. They have a behind the scenes video that's worth a watch. "Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful Central American travel destination of Belize. Models are selected based on various criteria by a well known and published photographer in Belize, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography and Lucelli Cal the owner and principal of one of the hottest trending boutiques in Belize, Catwalk Fashions. We will take you on a journey with us as we travel around Belize and perform these photoshoots in these picturesque locations with beautiful models."

Guava Limb Café Launch Party
The Guava Limb Cafe had their launch party Saturday. They had a little introduction for the Moroton Community Outreach Committee and their neighbors last night since their goal is to work for the betterment of the area. Great mission statement there. They overlook the pristine Macal River Park. Beautiful place, great food, and the best prices around. Junior photographer Minnelli Zetina was there to get some great shots of last night's event. "There's a new café in town, the Guava Limb Café, and it looks like it'll be the hot spot for coffee, and well priced appetizers, sandwiches, and salads. The breakfast menu looks almost too good to be true. Thanks to Minnelli Zetina for the better pictures in the album."

Tower Hill, Orange Walk on Saturday morning
The Orange Walk district appears to be hardest hit by localized flooding in the wake of the passage of a tropical wave on Friday afternoon. These pictures were taken near Tower Hill, Orange Walk on Saturday morning.

The Belize Times

Going with a bang! – Audrey Blows the Whistle on Barrow
Friday August 23, 2013 will be Audrey Matura-Shepherd’s last day in office as the Vice-President of Oceana in Belize. While the Prime Minister and his entire UDP Government will be glad to see the firebrand activist exit the public spotlight as the organization’s most senior official in Belize, Matura-Shepherd has made it clear that she isn’t really riding off into the sunset. Not only is Matura-Shepherd not fading in the dark, but she is also not leaving Oceana without a bang! Matura-Shepherd, a former UDP Senator and editor of the UDP newspaper, has exposed a scandalous secret agreement signed by the Barrow Administration with two oil companies in 2009.

100 DAYS WITHOUT WATER – UDP victimize Sarteneja and Guinea Grass residents
Potable water is one of the most basic but essential needs for human beings but several communities in Belize have been experiencing water shortages. This is the case in Sarteneja village in the Corozal District and ...

PAC Reform is Here to Stay!
Despite growing public support from the Business Community, the NTUCB, and the citizenry, the Office of the Prime Minister today issued a statement decisively rejecting the calls for reform of the ...

FECTAB smells the rat!!! – Norwegian Cruise deal will cripple Belize City tourism
Belize City tourism stakeholders, who depend mostly on cruise tourism, have declared their opposition to the recently signed deal between the Barrow Administration and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to develop a port in Southern Belize, because it will cripple tourism in the old capital. Today the most outspoken tourism organization, Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB), held a press conference calling on the Government to reconsider the deal. ...

Politics is more than just a game
By G. Michael Reid “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody”  Thomas Paine It is becoming more and more obvious that Belizeans are becoming totally disenchanted with the entire political process. Many are resigned to the belief that all we do, in going to the polls, is to change “black dog for monkey”. There are those who swear that they will never vote again and then others still, suggest that the only solution is a third party, preferably made up of GOD-fearing people. At the end of the day, what is abundantly clear is that the status quo is unacceptable and requires drastic and precipitous change. It is broke and we need to fix it. One thing that became painfully clear from last Wednesday’s House Meeting is that Belizeans cannot hope to see anything that even remotely resembles change under this administration. The sad part is that the very change for which we clamor was the platform upon which this government was elected. Accountability and Transparency were to be the pillars upon which this administration was to stand but boy, did we ever get bamboozled! Report after report of blatant corruption has surfaced and not only has the Prime Minister not “sprung into action” as he promised, he appears to be more “sprung” than active. The only time he surfaces is when he needs to defend the wrongdoing of one wayward minister or the other....

The Barrow Administration’s pro-poor policy can be summed up in three words: FOOD PANTRY and BOOST. Instead of reducing poverty in Belize, this politically-driven policy serves to perpetuate poverty, dependence and blatant discrimination and political victimization. Some UDPs benefit. All known or suspected PUPs, even the poorest of the poor, ...

Belize football girls off to UNCAF U-20 football championships
Belize’s Female U-20 Selection left Tuesday for Comayagua, Honduras to participate in the UNCAF U-20 Female Championship. The team lost to host country in the first match 2-1. Representing Belize in Honduras are: Beatrice Alfaro Captain - Santa ...

Baby Jaguars impress at U-15 championships in Cayman Islands
Belize bombed Grenada 6-1 in their 4th and final match to finish with a 3-1 record at the first ever CONCACAF under-15 football championships in the Cayman Islands. Mark Samuels scored Belize’s 1st winning goal against Grenada ...

Belize wins 2 in CONCACAF U-20 volleyball championships
The Belize national under-18 female volleyball team has a 2-1 record as it won its first two games against Honduras and El Salvador in the Under-20 Central American Championships in Santa Rosa de ...

OW teacher commits suicide!
Orange Walk Police are investigating a possible suicide committed by an Orange Walk teacher on Wednesday night. 28 year old Belizean teacher, Julian Chi, was found hanging from an electrical cord with the noose around his neck inside his bedroom. His dangling body was ...

I’m Not Backing Down, says “Faada”
One month ago, UDP mascots Brian “Yellowman” Audinette and Allan “Walletman” Kelly were charged for violently assaulting community activist Phillip “Faada” Henry and Police Officer Wilbert Chi. Yellowman is the second UDP ...

Business Senator questions cost of GOB’s legal battles
The Government of Belize’s legal woes with the Ashcroft Alliance has cost Belizean taxpayer’s no less than $5 million in legal fees. For the most part, the attorneys involved in these ...

AMAZING GRACE – Highway to Hell!
It’s a well-known rock song: “I’m on a highway to hell!” And it’s definitely a bobble-head inducing beat. Ironically, many people are dancing to the form of this beat one way or the other, happily oblivious to the truth in the statement. Yes. Hell is real. Admittedly, most people, religious ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Lower price of imports vs. Investment & job
By Richard Harrison Everything that Belize produces can be imported cheaper from abroad. Does that mean that we should stop producing and start importing everything? Sugar and citrus can be imported for around half the price from Brazil……banana and plantain for less than half the price from Honduras and Costa Rica. Should we close ...

Why Teachers are the True Leaders of Our Country
“Compassionate teachers fill a void left by working parents who aren’t able to devote enough attention to their children. Teachers don’t just teach; they can be vital personalities who help young people to mature, to understand the world, and to understand themselves. A good education consists of much more than useful facts and marketable skills.”–Charles Platt Annually, teachers each silently conduct a major self-assessment of how to provide their students with options, encouragement, and awareness of the importance of learning. They tap into the souls of students who are not empowered to learn and teach them that no matter what the students choose to do, they should be the best that they can be. Our teachers are mandated to teach with competence and responsibility. Ironically, responsibility does require competence. ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Daddy Don’t Know!
By anthony sylvestre If you were a parent and the neighbours continuously came to report on your unruly, obdurate child, and all you did was to make excuses for your child and kept declaring ignorance of the child’s actions outta road and had one constant refrain “I don’t know about that,” ...

Galen honors Mrs. Jane Usher with Honorary Degree
On Sunday, August 18th, 2013 the prestigious Galen University honored an icon in the Belizean community, Mrs. Jane Usher, at their 2013 commencement ceremony. At the ceremony, Mrs. Jane, as she is affectionately known, was recognized for her leadership ...

Hon. Jose Mai supports sports and education in Orange Walk South
PUP Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, continues to support sports and education in his constituency. Hon. Mai has assisted ...

Dean Barrow is no Daddy, as he boasted in the House. He is an old do nothing political Grinch in party politics who has stolen the future of the nation’s youth from them. He was elected to the National Assembly as far back as 1984, ...

PUP builds working partnership with Guinea Grass Village Council
On Wednesday 21st August, the Hon Jose Mai and the Hon John Briceńo met with the newly elected Independent Village Council of Guinea Grass. The meeting was to discuss the planning and strategic development of the community, in the face of neglect facing the community under the UDP Government. Chairman Jose Hernandez and his councilors shared welcomed the meeting and explained that they are more than willing to work with the Hon Area Representative, the Hon. Jose Mai and the PUP to benefit the residents. The Hon. Mai and the Hon. Briceńo explained that the gesture was reciprocal. The PUP will do all in its capacity to assist the village council in improving the Guinea Grass community, including lobbying on their behalf at the National Assembly for critical assistance and development projects. ...

Taxing Us to Death
After six long years of living under a grossly incompetent UDP government, the people of Belize are on the brink of taking matters into their own hands against King Dean. Teachers were promised a raise that was tagged to a fictional oil find, while Gapi was on ...

Hon. Dolores’ community outreach in BRC
Area Representative for Belize Rural Central Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia and her committee continue their outreach as the opening of school in September approaches. Hon. Dolores was in Gales Point Manatee on Thursday August ...

Another legal battle with Aschroft – …more money for Brother B & Lady Lois?
THE Barrow government, in an ominous move last week, swooped down with its iron claws and grabbed a prime coastal piece of real estate at Commerce Bight just south of Dangriga. It is land that was in receivership by the British Caribbean Bank (BCB). It has been a part of a longstanding legal battle. No rhyme or reason has been given for this sudden high-handed decision by the government, but to further turn the screws on BCB by revoking a lease. It has prompted reactions of cynicism on the social media and elsewhere in the public forum. The government obviously does not have a plan, much less any immediate plan for the pier at Commerce Bight. However, it says that it wants to build an international port there. It is the most utter foolishness that has come so far from this government. It is expected that a slew of legal entanglements will follow with the Prime Minister’s law firm, or that of his relatives or cronies, representing the government against the Ashcroft Alliance. ...

Progresso Residents Slam GOB for Incompetence – Road Project yet to start even though completion date was May 2013
Residents of Progresso Village are totally dissatisfied with the UDP Government and their bucket of lies. Last week, the Barrow Administration averted a huge embarrassment when they learnt that ...

By Francis W. Fonseca On July 31, 2013 the Government of Belize entered in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Belize Island Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), for the development of Southern Belize as a Cruise Tourism destination. NCL has purchased a 70 acre island, Harvest Caye, ...

Paul Rodriguez scolds Belize Action leaders
Dear Louis and Scott, Last night, Monday 19th, I think you conceded advantage when Scott apologized for not admitting before that the Gender Policy has "multiple goods". Instead of doing that, it is much better to continue to emphasize that the Gender Policy seeks to ram down our throats values that are ...

Norwegian Dügü
Dear Editor, It was an insult for the Norwegian representative to attempt to appease our people in their grand scheme by throwing in “wah lee ting” for us, saying that our Garifuna brothers and sisters will be able to “dance” the Dügü for tourist dollars. It exposed the plantation/peasant mentality that continues ...

NCL deal is not good for Belizeans
Dear Editor, After watching the news and listening to the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) and BTB representatives I am convinced that there is nothing in this for us Belizeans. This is an outright hustle for some big UDP supporters and NCL. What NCL is proposing is that they will have everything on ...

Deconstructing Finnegan’s Abnormal Behavior
Dear Editor, The behavior of some of the elected representatives inside the National Assembly at the last House Sitting was the most disgraceful and dishonorable I have seen in my life. I was ashamed that I had my teenage daughter listen in, in an attempt to support her aspirations in politics. Instead ...

Open Letter to F.I.U. – Investigate Boots!
Dear Mrs. Marilyn Williams,As a citizen and registered voter of Belize, I write this open letter to call to your attention your fiduciary responsibility as Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. The institution is set up to investigate, charge and prosecute matters of ill-gotten gains outside of one’s income. I bring to question the business conducted by one Anthony “Boots” Martinez. I call on him to let the records show that his filings with the Integrity Commission, as required by our laws. As I understand it, prior to 2008 Boots owned a single house and was not such a wealthy man, possibly even paying mortgage. Now, this same Boots has paid off his loan, and now owns not one, not two, but several houses including a huge building he is presently building on cemetery road. Is he an overnight millionaire? His spending does not match his income. His money maths has never added up (which includes large deposits at one of the banks). ...


Thankfully the rain has stopped for now, it is rained so heavy between last night and this morning that many of the back roads have turned into waterways. In the east side of our yard we have a big lake where the water level rose up to an inch or so above ground. I know may peoples yards on the island have turned into fish ponds, this makes a good case for doing your due diligence before buying land to ensure you are high and dry. Since walking in puddles is almost unavoidable in rainy season, make sure to wash your shoes and feet well with clean water when you get home. Puddles can carry parasites. You don’t have to have a cut on your foot, either, many parasites which can get on your bare skin and burrow underneath. Also try avoid puddles if you have recently had a new pedicure, during a pedicure there is a chance of getting minute abrasions that could easily allow the entry of the bacteria. It is not a bad idea to wash your dog’s paws after they walk in puddles and get rid of any wash off any toxins and germs they may have picked up. Below are a couple of videos and a few pics I took on my walk to the corner store showing just how flooded San Pablo area is getting.

“Barefootin” in San Pedro,Ambergris Caye, Belize.
When Rose and I first came to Belize, and Ambergris Caye in particular, back in 1998 I brought with me – not knowing what to expect (information on the Internet was nowhere near as informative or comprehensive then)- loafers and flip flops. Within a few days of arrival though I stopped wearing them and did what I saw loads of other people do. I went “barefootin”! San Pedro was a lot different then (and this is not an intro to a stream of invective). There were no cobbled or paved roads. Depending on the weather they were either very dusty or very muddy. But I don’t recall (is the memory selective?) too much rubbish about. Definitely no broken glass or sharp objects on the roads. So I felt comfortable “barefootin”. It’s not for me now though (see plenty of people that are “sans chaussures”). You do come across the occasional dangerous object in the roads (sometimes even on the beach) and I just am not going to take the risk of damaging my feet when we visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize Rose has been following the journey (isn’t it great what today’s telecommunication systems can let you do) of the stuff we are having shipped from the UK and yesterday the ship (Philadelphia Express) that our stuff is on docked in Charlotte. It’s now on its way to Miami and will then make its way to Belize City. We are really looking forward to its arrival. It’ll be like Christmas in September opening all the parcels!

How To Ride A Taxi In Belize
Some Belize taxi advice Taxi courtesy: When you get into a taxi, greet everyone with a Good Morning or Buenos Dias. You might be a bit scrunched—3 adults to a back seat is fare game—so try and stay in the boundaries of your own seat. First come first served… usually. Give yourself a bit of extra time to get where you are going in case a fellow passenger requires a bit of a detour for their destination. Usually the driver will go in order of who gets in first, but if a later passenger’s destination is before yours, the driver will probably take them first.

International Sources

U.S. May Build Southern Border Security For Mexico With American Tax Dollars
Obama administration and Mexican government officials recently discussed creating a three-tier security system designed to protect Mexico’s southern border from drug and human traffickers, according to U.S. officials. The border control plan calls for U.S. funding and technical support of three security lines extending more than 100 miles north of Mexico’s border with Guatemala and Belize. The border security system would use sensors and intelligence-gathering to counter human trafficking and drug running from the region, a major source of illegal immigration into the United States. According to the officials who discussed the U.S.-Mexican talks on condition of anonymity, the Mexican government proposed setting up three security cordons using electronic sensors and other security measures along the southern Mexican border, along a line some 20 miles from the southern border, and along a third security line about 140 miles from the southern Mexican territorial line.

NSK Farms Beat Chambers Polo Team in Charity Tourney
In commemoration of the visit of the first lady of Belize, Her Excellency Lady Kim Simplis Barrow, who also is the founder of the popular “Inspiration Centre” in Belize, The Nigeria-Belize Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (NBCCIA) organized a Mini Charity Polo tournament at the NSK farms in Keffi, Nasarawa State. The first competition of the Mini Charity Polo Tournament was between the Chambers Polo team and the NSK farms Polo team and it resulted in NSK farms Polo team beating the Chambers Polo team by 11 goals to 9 goals. The second competition was between the Pinnacle Polo team and the Imani Polo team with the Imani Polo team emerging victorious.

NCL buys Belize land to develop $50m cruise port
Norwegian Cruise Line has purchased some 75 acres in Belize for a planned cruise ship port destination. The land, which is called Harvest Caye, has two islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts in Belize. Norwegian said it planned to invest $50 million in the project. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries, and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL President and CEO in a statement. Sheehan said the company planned to develop the destination using a “sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.” The two islands had previously been approved for a resort project, Caribbean Journal reported.

Dügü for tourism an insult to Garinagu, but its potency could be useful elsewhere
“Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth but, of its very character, leaves its people intellectually and morally disoriented.” (Franz Fanon, 1966). Several members of Garifuna communities in Belize and the diaspora, as well as many other Belizeans, have expressed through radio, TV and social media, their outrage at the recent news that the Norwegian Cruise Lines investment at Harvest Caye is proposing to include the dügü as part of its marketing strategy to attract cruise tourists to Southern Belize.

The August - September 2013 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE

This Issue's Stories:

  • Opportunities and Global Perspective of Cacao for Belize: Cacao Field Day and Forum: The market for chocolate couldn’t be better. There is a worldwide deficit of 60,000 metric tons. Just at the time that production is decreasing in the two main exporter countries of Ghana and Brazil the demand is increasing by 3% per year, creating a wonderful market opportunity for Belize. This was the theme of the forum held in Toledo on June 12, 2013. The forum developed from an idea that the U.S. Ambassador, H.E. VinaiThummalapally, had when he visited Toledo cacao producers in February. Having heard about Belize’s excellent chocolate quality in places he’s visited and seeing the potential for the chocolate produced in Toledo he contacted Mr. Jose Alpuche, CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), and Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Country Director of InstitutoInteramericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura (IICA), and Mr. Anhil Sinha of Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), to sponsor the forum. In addition to the sponsoring organizations, the stakeholders included members of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA), the Toledo Agriculture Development Association (TADA), cacao farmers and processors.
  • Good Pesticide Management Practices Execution Progress and Future Work: The Good Pesticides Management Practices – Farmer Recognition Initiative (GPMPFRI) commenced in November 2012 and is an interagency collaborative initiative undertaken to promote and recognize good pesticide management practices among volunteer farmers by bringing into focus the potential sources of agrochemical contamination for horticultural products from the field to consumers. The initiative is expected to improve the competitiveness of participating local farmers through a scheme that will award public recognition to those in compliance with the GPMPFRI’s requirements. Farmers’ compliance is monitored and recorded by way of a toolkit which was developed based on Global G.A.P. criteria. In addition to farm inspection and field sampling activities, the initiative also has a farmer assistance component whereby volunteer farmers are provided with basic information and training in pesticide management and application practices. Tangible support in the form of personal protective equipment, pesticide storage units, field guides and other tools to improve pesticide management practices on the farm also form part of assistance offered to volunteer farmers.
  • TO THE EDITOR: Good Morning Beth, I just wanted to say that I read every Belize paper every day and the Ag Report is the best of them all. Real stuff. Stuff that can help the country and our neighborhoods. NO POLITICS. Its manna from heaven. Thanks again. Marty Casado
  • Bill Lindo responds to Vernon's Response Issue 21 page 5: Dear Harry Vernon, I refer to your letter to the editor in issue # 21 in The Belize Ag Reporton my subject “Energetic Agriculture”. You stated that I lack understanding of the subjects chemistry and soil sciences. If you mean that as it relates today to the teaching in schools and universities, then you are correct. The schools teach a pseudoscience in obedience to the corporate masters. God made the universe and nature is a product of God’s action. As human beings we have a job to try and understand how nature works and discover its laws. In trying to understand God’s nature, we can never look at it in a linear-entropic way. This foolishness that the whole is just the sum of the parts is wrong to physical reality. The whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. My friend, you lack understanding of nature because nature is not chemistry. Nature in regards to agriculture is made up of chemistry and biology -- physics is the bridge that joins them. You need to know all three and their relationship to each other.
  • What Has Professor Philip S. Callahan Done for Agriculture?: In issue # 21 of The Belize Ag Report I wrote that Prof Philip S. Callahan is the greatest scientist of the late twentieth century. Who is this 90 year old scientist and teacher? Prof. Callahan has written over 18 books and published over 180 technical papers in various journals. Agriculture practitioners should read and study his books: “Paramagnetism”, “Ancient Mysteries, Modern Visions”, and “The Soul of the Ghost Moth”. He got his Ph.D. at Kansas State in entomology (study of insects). He wrote that his assignment under Prof. Reginald Painter was “to find out why plants that grew on poor soil produced far more corn earworm moth eggs than those that grew on dark, well-aerated, bottomland soil”. In other words, why is it that crops which are grown on healthy soils never attract diseases and insects. He wrote that it took him 40 years to discover the answer and he also discovered how insects communicate. The results of his insect discovery caused a “fire-storm” in entomology. Many teachers were angry that he over-turned their “pet Theory of Olfaction”. But the United States government was very happy about his discoveries. While he taught at Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, and University of Florida (Gainesville), he also worked for both the Dept. of Agriculture (Southern Grain Insects Research Lab & USDA Insect Attractant and Behavior Lab) and the Defense Department for over 30 years.
  • Tally Me Bananas: Driving into my property the other day I was horrified to see how neglected my banana plants looked: overcrowded, with leaves dead and perhaps even diseased. Earlier on I had passed a newly erected sign just before Riversdale advertising Bunches of Fun Banana Tours 624 4297. Now there is a good idea. So I made an advance booking for a dozen ladies who were somewhat skeptical when I asked if they would like to accompany me. Our guide, Evin, was lively, charming and eager to tell us about the farm and the importance of the banana industry here in southern Belize. We were off to a great start with an informative video outlining banana history. Sagitun Farm is one of 24 farms in Belize owned by 9 farm owners all forming the Banana Growers Association supplying bananas to Fyffes. Although there are hundreds of varieties of the genus Musa, the Cavendish is THE banana of choice grown by the globes’ largest producers. Export bananas were once the variety Gros Michel or Big Mike but this was wiped out by Panama disease. The Cavendish is its replacement and it could be threatened by other possible diseases such as Black Sigatok, hence the need for strict handling and chemical control. We walked to the fields and were surrounded by large luscious plants. The banana is, in fact, not a tree but the world’s largest herb. If there was any dissent in my group to begin with it was soon replaced by smiles, keen interest and fascination.
  • Xate Survival Story: What is Xate? Xate (pronounced SHA-tay or sha-teh) are ornamental palm plants. Xate are three of the eleven palms that are part of the Chamaedorea species. Chamaedorea ernestiaugustii is the most familiar of the three. It is typically known by its common name, fishtail, cola de pescado, pata de vaca or rabbit ears. Chamaedorea oblongata common name is Jade, Xate macho or oblongata. Chamaedorea elegans common name is Elegans, Xate hembra or parlour palm. Xate palm leaves are green and smooth. Plants can grow to be seven feet tall, but generally fall over when they reach the height of an average man. Chamaedora palms grow from Mexico and Central America to Bolivia and Brazil. Xate varieties are most commonly found within Belize and Guatemala as they grow well in the shade and favorable climate of the neo-tropical rain forest. Birds and mammals of this region help to disperse and pollinate the seeds. Xate plants are harvested for their leaves, seeds and whole plants for the florist industry in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe.
  • Apple Trees of Belize Featuring the Mammee Apple: Mammee apples are not botanically apples, but have a similarity to apples and are recognized and known as apples in Belize and the other tropical countries where they are grown and enjoyed. Mammee apple, Mammea americana, also known as mammey apple, mamey apple, coco apple, Saint Domingo apricot, mamey amarillo, South American apricot, abrico and several other names native to the tropical country of origin, produce fruits, which, despite their resemblance to apples, are botanically considered to be berries. Mammee fruits are grown from an attractive evergreen tree of the Garcinia family (Clusiaceae) which resembles a magnolia tree. Mammee apples are commonly confused with Mamey Sapote (Pouteria sapota) of the Sapotaceae family but are unrelated. Mammee apples are a tropical fruit related to the mangosteen.
  • 30 Years of Growth and Firsts For Cayo’s Running W Meats: Worldwide it is not uncommon for people to consider an imported item more valuable than a locally produced product. In Belize this has often seemed especially true. For a small and less developed country (LDC), as Caricom classifies us, we are accustomed to much importation. However, as one of only 2 Caricom net exporters of food, the game is changing; Belize is gaining a reputation not only in the numbers for exported food and commodities but also in the high quality of our products, especially in the agriculture/food arena. Running W’s manager, Abdala Bedran, was chosen as one of the main speakers at the 2012 International Brahman Congress, held in Panama, in recognition of not only their excellent products but for Running W’s exceptional forward thinking sustainable management at Cayo District’s Running W Farm. Running W is a family based business. The late Mr. Escandar Bedran and his wife, the late Mrs. Paulita Bedran, parents of 7, instilled a strong worth ethic in their children. Mr. Bedran was successful in many varied businesses and had an affinity and talent for purchasing land; Mrs. Bedran, a popular civic minded woman and exceptional mother, instilled a strong respect for education in her children and grandchildren. Wanting to maintain a strong and close family, Mr. Bedran always encouraged and facilitated, when possible, businesses which would maintain his family together in Belize.
  • FACING THE GIANT: AVIAN INFLUENZA IN MEXICO: The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) 2012 and 2013 outbreaks in Mexico have always been worrisome to Belize but now, almost a year later, with the disease now in five Mexican states Belize faces a formidable giant. The outbreak first started in Jalisco in June 2012 and, by November, Mexican authorities considered it eradicated. However, there was a loss of some 22 million birds due to the disease or control measures and some 166 million doses of vaccine were applied. But it re-surfaced at the start of 2013 with a vengeance spreading to nearby states and resulted in 12 states vaccinating against HPAI, 9 of these states being unaffected states. This giant with the outbreak now being reported in Puebla, Mexico has its sword drawn against Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula. As in biblical times when David faced Goliath, Belize now needs to face the threat of HPAI from Mexico. This giant is a threat to Belize’s food security, economy, poultry industry and animal health. Public health is not under any threat as the disease is primarily a bird disease. Belize’s response is a coordinated response with the lead being taken by BAHA and the Belize Poultry Association (BPA). Regular meetings of poultry committees (poultry advisory committee, poultry health committee) are held to update on the evolution of the disease as well as to harmonise preparation and prevention measures. While BAHA is strengthening its veterinary services for early detection and prompt response, the BPA is ensuring that its producers are aware of the threat and step up biosecurity measures.
  • BEL-CAR UPDATES: These are Bel-Car’s main products, by percentage (dollars, not volume) with note of direction from previous year. BLACK EYE PEAS: down, approx. 10% RK BEANS: level, 25% CORN: up, 64% SORGHUM: slowly up, less than 1% BLACK EYE PEAS: Production this past year is still low, and is expected to remain low again next year, due to prices returning to $0.65-0.70/lb, down from the unrealistic $1.00 to 1.10 of last year. Bel-Car management travels extensively, analyzing global factors, increasing their marketing success. Trips to the Middle East increased understanding of the short but premium market for black eyes for the Ramadan holidays. Europe has also purchased some Bel-Car black eyes this season and discussions are under way with southern US growers, who may need to import to meet their regular customer demands. RKs: Bel-Car is still buying at $1.60, although international prices are cheaper; Bel-Car will need to reduce prices or stop selling. After a time of world scarcity of RKs, the USA and Argentina raised their production levels, which lowered world prices. Buyers such as Trinidad are already buying out of the region, paying the heavy 40% Common External Tarriff (CET). Presently slightly more RKs are inventoried in country than will be consumed locally, so prices must decline. Higher local consumption will likely follow, and more beans in local rice and beans.
  • Cattle Sweep in Spanish Lookout Finally Begins: The Belize cattle sweep, which began in the Northern Mennonite community of Blue Creek in November of 2012, finally arrived in Cayo’s Spanish Lookout. 400 head of cattle were tested on Monday, June 17th, with a follow up reading of results on Thursday, 20th June. Two visits with each animal are required to complete the service. On the first day the cattle have blood drawn for bovine brucellosis and are given a bovine TB (tuberculosis) test under the tail. Blood samples are sent to the lab, but the TB tests require the cattle to be individually handled again precisely 3 days later, to manually read those results. For the completion of testing for the approximately 14,000 to 15,000 head within the community, the national committee projects a 4 week timeline.
  • All Ranchers May Choose Eartag Type: Computer Readable or Not: There seems to be much confusion within the various Mennonite communities concerning the ‘computer ID chips’ which are available, but are not required. The ‘computer chip’ tags are not connected to any satellite; they have no capacity to indicate where the animal is located. The tags only have an individual reference number, identifying each specific animal on a computer which must be on the ranch with the animal to enable reading it. Hence, if a group of cattle with the computer tags are moved through a gate, en masse, and the reader computer is there, it can ‘read’ all the individual numbers onto the computer immediately. With the non-computer tag, each one must be manually read by the handlers.
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$ :
  • Bird Watch - From my Perch How Technology Changed the Way We Watch Birds: Watching birds used to mean carrying a backpack filled with bird books and notebooks. Today a birder can carry his books, bird songs, and a notebook, all in one pocket-sized compact tool. Birders all over the world can enter their observations into a global database, for the benefit of birders everywhere. Launched in 2002, provides data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution. In March of 2012, participants reported more than 3.1 million bird observations across North America. Belize has its own community of e-Birders, people who faithfully record their observations in the field or in their own backyard. As a result, there is already a wealth of information available online about your favorite bird species, where they are and when you might find them. The application, Bird Log CA (Central America) is a tool to use when you’re “on the go” or to keep track of the birds you see in your own backyard. It is a “real-time, online checklist program” that works on your smartphone or tablet, and with it you are able to make entries in the field. When you connect to the Internet, you can submit the data. Your observations then become part of a huge global database at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. The information can be accessed at Go to http:// or the iTunes App store to find the mobile applications.
  • GMOs – Brief History and Prospects for the Future: The month of May 2013 marks 30 years since scientists first published that they could place functional foreign genes into plant cells. This technology, known as GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, however, has been around for a bit longer, with the first GMO product, human insulin, released for marketing by Genentech as far back as 1982. The scientific breakthrough using genetic engineering in plants signaled an exciting phase in biotechnology, a phase heralding the ability to artificially insert desired traits and characteristics into plants used for food, fibre and fuel. In early 1992, analysts predicted that one of the first biotech crops, the Flavr Savr tomato, which was engineered by Campbell Soup Company to remain firm after ripening, would obtain regulatory approval and be the first success story of a GM crop on the market. Campbell believed that tomatoes that can ripen on the vine, obtain their full natural flavor while on the plant, and still make the trip to the supermarket and the dinner table, without getting mushy or rotten, would be a delight to producers and consumers alike. The anti-GMO campaign, led largely by organized organic farming groups in the US, launched a very effective campaign, leading to Campbell’s decision to withdraw the Flavr Savr tomato from the market.
  • Citrus Greening: Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing disease or HLB, has been called the most serious pathogen ever to infect citrus. It has already killed millions of citrus trees in Florida and resulted in an economic loss totaling 4.5 billion dollars and 8,000 jobs. The disease causes fruit to drop prematurely and to grow misshapen and bitter, thereby making it unsuitable for either juice or the fresh market. Greening is a bacterial disease transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). It originated in China last century and found its way to Brazil, Mexico and Florida early this century. Most recently it has been identified in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Arizona, Cuba and Belize. In areas where only isolated cases of the disease are present rigid quarantine measures have been implemented to prevent its spread. Such is not the case in Florida where the disease is now endemic in virtually all areas where citrus is planted. Growers are faced with a decision: to destroy all their trees and plant something else or try to manage through the disease.
  • USING A REFRACTOMETER: The ability to easily measure Brix in the field makes it possible to determine ideal harvesting times of fruit and vegetables so that products arrive at the consumers in a perfect state or are ideal for subsequent processing steps. A refractometer is an instrument for measuring Brix. An explanation of the background and importance of Brix in determining quality of produce can be found on page 10 in issue 17 of the Belize Ag Report, Aug/Sept 2012. Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. Specifically, one degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w). For fruit juices, 1.0 degree Brix is denoted as 1.0% sugar by weight. This usually correlates well with perceived sweetness. If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, which can be the case in vegetables, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content.
  • Pig production Faculty of Science and Technology University of Belize Central Farm Campus: One of the key components of the livestock section at the University of Belize Central Farm Agriculture Department is the piggery unit which serves the following purposes: 1. Generate income for the institution’s development and sustainability, and 2. Serve as an instrument to expose and involve students in the day-to-day management and husbandry practices of a farrow-to-finish swine production unit. But the program is about to change in preparation for the offering of a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Agriculture in the near future. For this purpose, the following expansions are contemplated over the next three years. UBCF Expansion Program 1. Expansion of current operation to an 18 sow farrow-tofinish unit 2. Establishment of feed mill and feed mixing unit on campus 3. Construction of a finishing unit with a capacity to finish all piglets born in the facility 4. Improve and expand processing capacity of the school processing facility 5. Construction of a biogas facility to provide energy and organic fertilizer
  • Let’s Make an Agricultural Revolution, Belizean Style: This country has a big, ugly debt problem. Mostly it smolders; in 2012 it bubbled up, but one day it’s going to erupt in the form of a sharp currency devaluation and painful austerity measures that set the country’s economic and social development back generations, with all the human misery that that entails. Fortunately, we have the power to change the future through our economic choices and agriculture has a leading role to play. Belize imports more than its exports: the merchandise trade deficit rose by Bz$81.3m or 23.3% in 2012-13; the balance of payments current account deficit widened to 2.7% of GDP. The value of exports of goods produced in Belize (rather than re-exports) dropped by Bz$25.3m; imports for domestic consumption increased by Bz$162.8m. The fixed exchange rate is feeding our addiction to imports, but hamstrings export competitiveness. The trend is unsustainable and eventually the dollar peg will snap. But the problem is bigger than trade. We don’t save enough to generate funds for investment: the IDB Country Strategy for Belize talks about the high cost of domestic finance as a brake on growth and the need for foreign investment, including in agriculture. There is no stock exchange for companies to raise capital and the banks are ineffective in recycling savings to feed cash-hungry businesses. Governments periodically indulge in spending splurges, resulting in a precipitous public debt level of 78% of GDP. We borrow to cover current expenditure: the government had a Bz$17.3m deficit in 2012-13 and capital expenditure is dependent on handouts from foreign agencies.
  • UAVs: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Belize Usher in New Era of Precision Agriculture: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, commonly known as drones, are already at work globally in agriculture for both small and large farmers. Belize is embracing the high tech aerial systems, with dealers in place for agricultural drones, creating new opportunities in the exciting realms of agriculture. Due to their efficiency compared to other systems of ag monitoring and applying crop treatments, UAV use is expected to expand drastically. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, (AUVSI) predicts the agricultural sector to comprise 90% of worldwide UAV use. Japan, South Korea and Australia have thousands of these already in agricultural use. The most experienced UAV makers at this time are from the Orient. UAVs fly in an ultra-efficient tight pattern of up one row, over and down the neighboring row, compared to turning necessary with a fixed-wing aircraft. They accomplish more tasks than traditional aircraft by not being limited by direct human visibility. UAVs can monitor crops for yield or health and can disperse applications of liquids, granules or coated grains. They can work as low as 12 INCHES above the plants, reducing application medium and minimizing unintended treatment of neighboring lands.
  • Cheesemaking at Western Dairies: What evolved into Western Dairies began with cheese making by the Abram J. Thiessen family in their home in Spanish Lookout; their private operation lasted about 8 months before it was decided by the leaders of the community to form WD. Now WD produces cheese in 9300 pound vats and forms it in 20 40-pound molds every processing cycle, during which only one type of cheese is made. Like the rest of WD, the process for cheddar and regular mozzarella cheese is mechanized; of the 106 employees only 3 people make all the cheese. All cheese starts with milk that is brought in daily. Before farmers started feeding their cattle hay during the hot, dry season milk production fluctuated by season. Now Western Dairies (WD) can expect about 430,000 pounds of milk per month (8.6 lbs. of milk = 1 gallon). Small farmers collect milk in 5 gallon containers but big farmers have much larger containers, some holding upwards to 1000 gallons, on their farms to collect milk. Every day WD sends out a technician to test milk for impurities, including water. Every container of milk is tested before it is brought into WD’s processing plant. WD sends a truck to collect milk from the large dairy farms.
  • NATIONAL AGRICULTURE & TRADE SHOW May 3rd – 5th, 2013: 2013 marked the sixty-fifth year of recognizing and celebrating Belize’s rich history and bright agricultural future. This year’s theme describes the mission of the fair, “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public and Private Partnership”. The newly renovated and updated fairground was bustling with over forty-two thousand visitors from across the country for a week-end total. The mission of the NATS show is to showcase and introduce new products made by Belizean farmers with the goal to educate, support and encourage improved agriculture practices in Belize, including cattle, shrimp, sugar, citrus, produce, coconuts, rice and many more crops. Awards were given to Farmers of the Year, Senior Farmer, Woman Farmer and Junior Farmer. Members of the Taiwan Technical Mission who are working with the Belizean Ag sector to help improve farming techniques and to promote diversity displayed their ag techniques and displayed fruit, rice and vegetable exhibits. Many Belizean-based new businesses were on hand to proudly promote their products, including WOW soy sauce, Northern Heat hot sauce, cassava products, jellies and jams, gluten “veg meats”, grain and fruit cereals and many other innovative products. It was a festive occasion and offered something for visitors of all ages, including a rodeo, two playgrounds, a carnival, live music, lots of great handmade Belizean food, crafts, farm products to see, taste, hear and enjoy.
  • Rice Seed Production Project Field Day: A rice field day was held on May 24th, 2013 at the Central Farm rice field. The event was organized by the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA). Invited guests attending were Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of State in MNRA; Mr. Douglas Chang, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan; Mr. Eugene Waight, Chief Agriculture Officer, MNRA; and Mr Fernando Yeng, Chief of TTM. A total of 91 guests attended including MNRA technical officers, representatives of collaborating institutions, farmers and students. At the end of the opening ceremonies the attendees accompanied Mr. Wayne Chen, Rice Specialist, TTM, and Ms. Ina Sanchez, MNRA officer to a field tour of the seed producing plots. The highlights of the field tour included:
  • Tilapia Hatchery Center Ground Breaking Ceremony: of the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM), former Chief Agriculture Officer, Eugene Waight, and others in the agriculture ministry, the project for establishing a tilapia hatchery was launched on July 17, 2013 on Baking Pot Road, Central Farm, Cayo. The project is a joint co-operation by the Government of Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Funded by the International Cooperation and Development Fund of the Republic of China (Taiwan ICDF), the 5 year Aquaculture Project signed in February 2012 is estimated at BZ$5 million. It includes the construction of a tilapia hatchery building (which will also house a research facility), 18 earthen ponds, a reservoir, a sedimentation pond, 12 nursery tanks and 16 fry (young fish) concrete tanks. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, the Honorable David Wu, who gave an overview of the project at the ground-breaking ceremony, said that primary objectives are to (1) produce one million “all male” high quality tilapia fingerlings to assist the development of small-scale tilapia farming operations on Belize, (2) promote the use of modern tilapia culture technology to increase the annual tilapia production and gradually decrease the price of fingerling production (3) reduce the cost of commercial feed by 30 - 35% with the use of alternative feed and (4) supplement the meat protein intake to families in rural areas through improved tilapia production in the region.
  • Local and Regional Fuel Prices: Cayo, Belize Quintana Roo, Mexico Peten, Guatemala
  • Garden Tools: Back to Basics: The dry season is here and we home gardeners are waiting for the first rains to come down to kick start that backyard garden. In the mean time you can accumulate seeds, pick out an area in the backyard for your home garden and get your tools ready. While there are many single function trendy tools on the market that promise to make soil most manageable with the least effort, the basic multifunction tools are space saving and most practical for budget gardeners such as ourselves. After all, the purpose of home gardening is for higher output from low input. These eight tools are a great start for your home garden and are multifunctional, practical and space saving. Standard shovel or spade is the first on the list; these are used for digging up the softened earth and moving away extra materials, such as sand. When purchasing a spade or shovel choose a sturdy handle and comfortable grip. Shovels and spades with D-shaped handles make it easier to lift what you have dug or scooped. Look for a curved foot rest below the neck of the blade for easy insertion into the ground. Find an appropriate height and don’t be afraid to ask the store assistants to see all that they have. A slick metal surface allows material to slide off easily, so stay away from rusty blades even if it gets you a discount.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

August 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Kids 4 Clean Water Summer Program
Belize Community Conservation and Caribbean S.E.A have collaborated to once again do a week long day camp from August 19th-23rd at the Boca del Rio Park. The program, “Kids 4 Clean Water” focuses on both hygiene and environmental conservation mainly affecting the San Mateo Area. This year, about 25 kids are involved with the program which is dedicated to teaching them proper hygiene methods and how good hygiene goes hand in hand with the preservation of the various ecosystems around us. The kids also learned about creative alternatives to making basic hygiene readily available, such as the “tippy taps.” The tippy taps can be described as mobile faucets, though they are easy to make (consisting only of a plastic bottle filled with water, a couple pieces of string and a bar of soap) and may seem simple. The tippy tap provides the two main factors we need for clean hands- soap and water.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caribbean Cooler Pool Party
The Coolest Day of Summer Pool Party is today at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. It's sponsored by Island Time Beverages, Caribbean Coolers, Running W, and Madisco. They'll have Caribbean Cooler jello shots there. Check out their site for instructions on how to make them. The Bum Squad will be there providing music. The party starts at 11:00am. "Are you ready to COOL down this weekend?? The pool is looking incredibly delicious at San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize for our Pool Party! Let the countdown for the weekend begin!!"

Valerie Joyce Penner Exhibit
Valerie Joyce Penner will be having an exhibit today night at the Soul Project. It starts at 6:00pm.

Bethany Ann CD Release
Bethany Ann is having her CD release party today at the George Price Centre for her 'No Hands' Album. The festivities start at 6:00pm. The after party will be at YWAM's Destiny House. Get your signed copy at the event.

Belize Representatives at Carifesta
Belize is represented well in Suriname at Carifesta XI. The Institute of Creative Arts has some good pictures up, and the Belize National Dance Company has some great videos up too. Have fun, everyone! "We've been highlighting our talented Jaguars and all our sports teams this week making us proud in sports arena but we've also got a delegation of Belizeans showcasing our artistic side in Paramaribo, Suriname. This talented group left the country last Wednesday, August 14th and they are representing our beautiful country well! Dance -Belize National Dance Company Music - Galen Eagles Band Youth - Elvis Avila – Winner- Youth Artist of the Year/ National Festival of Arts Fashion - Joris Hendrik-Groennendaal Fashion (Jewelry) - Khadija Assales Craft – Aurelio Sho & Adeliah Ishim Jackie Castillo - head of Fashion & Craft Literary arts –Felene Cayetano & Selene Solis Visual Arts – Alex Sanker & Rachael Heusner Theatre – ‘My Body is Precious’ – Jael August, Carson Perrote, Rushelle Babb, Alexander Viveiros Film & Media Arts - Shelby Castillo Thanks for representing us well!"

Channel 7

Western Regional Administrator Responds To Sex Scandal In Psych Unit
Last night 7news broke the story of a scandal at the Western Regional Hospital: a male hospital driver had started up a visiting relationship with a female patient – he had been allowed into the ward at irregular hours by the nursing staff – even being allowed to pass the night. Just on the face of it, it’s a gross violation of protocol, but it’s even more serious because the patient is before the court facing multiple charges; she was placed in the ward at the court’s order to determine if she is fit to stand trial. It’s a very troubling breakdown in the system since, evidence shows, he was let into the ward repeatedly by the psychiatric nurse practitioners – who should have been there to see to very traumatized patient’s recovery, not to get her “hooked up” in a new relationship. But that’s just what appears to have happened, and now the driver has been suspended and the nurses transferred. But there are still many questions left unanswered, centrally: how could this be allowed to happen over a period of time? That’s what we asked hospital administrator Bernadette Nicholson when we spoke to her via phone an hour and a half ago:…

Police Try To Put Brakes In SATIIM For National Park Patrol
SATIIM, The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management officially had its rights as national park co-managers rescinded by the Forestry Department in mid July. But SATIIM continues to operate in the Sarstoon Temash National Park because the organization says it falls within their communal lands. This is how SATIIM Executive Director Greg Choc explained it one month ago on July 23rd.:…. Gregorio Choc - Executive Director, SATIM "The Sarstoon Temash National Park is not only a National Park - it is also Maya Customary land, the Sarstoon-Temash National Park is not only a national park, it is also Maya customary land and so we will continue to manage the Sarstoon-Temash National Park on behalf of the indigenous people of the region. I want to tell the Forestry Department and the Government of Belize that SATIM will continue to manage and protect the National Park because it is our interest and the interest of the Belizean people. SATIM is not only protecting the park - but it is ensuring the territorial integrity of this country." And so this morning, SATIIM’s Rangers, along with Village Chairmen and Alcalde set out on their monthly patrol along the Sarstoon. Today, they didn’t have the participation of the BDF – which, appears to have ended their long standing partnership of conducting joint patrols with SATIIM along the Sarstoon Boundary.

GSU Gets Mayflower Guns
Tonight, the Gang Suppression Unit is in possession of 2 weapons and a stash of weed, which they found in the Mayflower area – the base of the Ghost Town Crips. This morning, just before 10:30, officers from the GSU searched an abandoned lot behind #5 Mayflower Street, where the discovered 1 pink plastic bag. Inside, they found 5 plastic bags of cannabis to a total amount of 613 grammes, or one pound 5 ounces. The officers continued to search among the garbage and the bush, and they found a small brown metal ammunition can under an old microwave. Inside the can, they found a chrome Magnum.357 revolver which was loaded with 4 live rounds of .38 ammunition, and a black Luger brand 9mm pistol which was loaded with 3 live rounds of ammunition.

Man Chopped Up In Sleep, Critical
Tonight a man from Mahogany Heights is in critical condition at the KHMH after he was chopped up in his sleep this morning. This morning at 12:30, Police found Kenneth Flowers sitting in his home with 3 large chop wounds to his face and bleeding profusely. He was rushed to the KHMH where he had to be placed in intensive care; this evening he was going for emergency surgery. Police have found out that sometime after midnight, Flowers was at home alone in his bed when a man entered his bedroom and inflicted his injuries. Police have since detained two young men of mahogany Heights pending charges.

A New Way For High School Education
Viewers may know the Gwen Lizarraga High School’s Evening Division is known as a second chance educational program for youths and young adults who missed out on an opportunity on a high school education. But today, Gwen Liz became the home of an innovative pilot program to make education even more accessible to high schoolers of all ages. It was launched this morning, and 7News was there to find out how it will work. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz reporting Belize’s Secondary Education Sector took a major step into the present this morning with the launch of the Gwen Lizaragga High School Evening Division 'Open School.' The open school is a pilot project sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning, and it is being supported by the University of Belize. It is the first of its kind where students will be able to use the internet to access a large portion of the secondary school curriculum. The programme will make certain subject areas available online: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "The concept of the Open School is really to tear down the walls, the physical structure of the schools - it's putting everything online and using the technology. So in effect we're hoping that students across the nation or people who are not students who need a good quality education or need that kind of support will be able to access quality available resources on this website and through this initiative."

Leader Francis Sets It Straight for Chairman Henry
Over the past three days there’s been quite a bit of back and forth about returning PUP Candidates. The first is Amin Hegar, who, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat doesn’t want to run, and the second is Cordel Hyde – who Deputy Espat feels has to make some public act of contrition, a declaration of loyalty to Leader Francis Fonseca. But, party chairman Henry Usher isn’t so sure. Yesterday, he told LOVE FM that, quote, “I believe that the Deputy was speaking for himself when he said that; I don’t think there has to be any public act of contrition or anything of that nature as was asked of the deputy yesterday.” But was he really speaking for himself? Well, party Leader Francis Fonseca seemed to have responded with a very provocative post on his Facebook page today. It says, quote, “I wish to use this forum and opportunity to make it absolutely clear that the Hon. Julius Espat, Representative for Cayo South and a DPL of the PUP enjoys my full support and confidence...” It adds,

A Costly Joyride For 16 Year Old
There was a dramatic police chase resulting in a frightening vehicle accident on Coney Drive this morning. It happened around 9:30 when police were chasing a flatbed truck that had collided into a parked vehicle and then shot off. Well, it turns out the driver of the vehicle was a 16 year old who was on a joyride. It seems he had stolen the vehicle out of his father’s garage on Logwood Street the night before and had been whipping up and down Coney Drive from the night before. Well his luck ran out when he skated off the road this morning and flipped the vehicle over. It landed in a drain, and had it not been for a solid steel rollbar, he might have been crushed inside. But he wasn’t; instead he was arrested by police pending charges. The bad news for his dad is that he was holding the vehicle for a friend in the states.

Cruise ships will not make a mass detour to the south
This week, the always fiery FECTAB exploded in a rage against Norwegian Cruise Line. Their greatest opposition to the project is that the new development in southern Belize will force mass cruise cancellations in Belize City, leaving FECTAB’s members high, dry and broke. But government officials and cruise line executives say the deal is premised on the expectation that those cruise ships will not make a mass detour to the south. Why? Well, Colin Murphy says simply, they can’t:… Colin Murphy - VP, Destination And Strategic Development For Norwegian Cruise Line "Our intent is to create a great destination that our ships will have most of the use of and the other lines that are interested in coming are more than welcome. However, we're talking about one ship and especially during the high season those boats are going to be taken by our ships. In Belize City there are up to 4 ships a day, so then here we're talking about one ship a day - it essentially what we're saying. We couldn't accommodate a whole bunch of ships from Belize City so we for us it's one ship a day." Carnival Cruise Line currently has the most cruise calls in Belize and Norwegian the FEWEST.

Dara Hopes Lucky Dube Encourages Donations
Three weeks ago, Dara Robinson staged his Ride for Hunger fundraising event. Now, he’s back with his 6thannual Lucky Dube cyber-theater concert. He explained how he is mixing reggae vibes and philanthropy to feed the children:.. Dara Robinson - Grassroots Philanthropist "It's a Reggae tribute concert but it's all for a cause. It's my way of how I raise funds, I am a reggae lover and I pay tribute to reggae legends. I'm inviting families out, it's a family show - it's going to be reggae music at the highest level and reggae music that won't offend anybody. Even the neighborhood, you won't get the vulgar, slackness and gangsterism - it's strictly conscious reggae music. Also I ask those that can bring along food, they can pass through and bring it and even if they won't be a part of the tribute concert. At 2;00 the barrel will be at the gate and we're accepting anything in food - we're not refusing anything from the smallest amount to the biggest."

SATIIM, Back to the Start
Our top segment tonight spoke about SATIIM and the present difficulties they are having in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Their co management agreement has come to an official end – eight years after it first started. Tonight we got back to the start in 2005 – when it was big news that the Mayas were getting rights to administer lands that they called communal. We got back in our archives for that story:.. FILE - June 22nd, 2005 Jules Vasquez Reporting, [Email - [email protected]] This vast expanse of pristine green forest is part of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, a 41,000 acre spread adjoining 5 communities, 4 of them Ketchi, and one Garifuna. Today community leaders signed an agreement to take over the management of the park. It is the first time that communities that live near to a national park will be in charge of that park and the management of its resources. No small accomplishment and the work, lobbying and vision that went into it was tremendous. Greg Choc, President SATIM "We had many challenges, many skeptics, many of those who did not believe that we could achieve and we could negotiate and we could justify why we believe we need a say and we need a say in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. We never thought that one day we would be sitting here signing an agreement that reconciled our needs with the needs of the management of the Sarstoon Temash National Park." But that day came today when the community leaders signed. It is a signal accomplishment not only for them, but also for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Keeping San Pedro Dengue Free
A month ago, 7News told you about the regional outbreak of Dengue in Central America, which spared Belize. Well today, the Ministry of Health reports that in order to make sure there is not an outbreak in Belize, they are introducing an operation in San Pedro Town. It includes a ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying, thermal spraying of houses, premises inspections, spraying of drains and the issuing of bed nets to homes in high-risk areas. And the reason they’re doing this is because they’ve received reports of cases which they suspect of being Dengue infections. As a result, a team from the Vector Control Unit was dispatched to San Pedro on Tuesday to investigate in areas of DFC, Boca Del Rio and San Pablo.. The effort is free of costs for the San Pedro residents, and it comes as a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and the Island’s Town Council. The Ministry of Health is urging the public to take as many precautions as possible to avoid having an outbreak.

Belize Female Volleyballers In Tough Match
Belize’s female volleyballers are in a tough match at this hour AGAINST PANAMA in Honduras tonight. The score right now is 22 – 23 for Panama in the fourth set after Belize own sets one and two with very close scores and lost set three with an even closer score. The Belize girls lost on Wednesday against Nicaragua in straight sets so they need the win tonight.

Channel 5

Alleged sex scandal at Western Regional Hospital involving mental patient
News Five has been investigating reports of an apparent sex scandal at the Western Regional Hospital. There are allegations that a driver was engaged in a sexual relationship with a [...]

Rafael Perez still on the run, but has been revoked as Assemblies of God pastor
Rafael Perez, the pastor of Zion Ministries Assemblies of God Church in Orange Walk Town, is still nowhere to be found. Perez has been hiding out since August second, when [...]

SATIIM and Maya Leaders face off against Punta Gorda Police
Since cancelling a co-management agreement with the Sarstoon/Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, a month ago, the Forest Department and, by extension, the Government of Belize, has been at odds [...]

Co-management agreement pushing N.G.O.s away
In the past, co-management of protected areas has been based on somewhat of a gentleman’s agreement between the Government of Belize and non-government organizations. But there is a move to [...]

Mahogany resident in critical condition after being attacked with machete in bedroom
A Mahogany Heights resident is tonight in critical, but stable condition at the K.H.M.H. following a chopping incident inside his home. In the dead of night, shortly after twelve o’clock [...]

Valley of Peace resident busted with drugs during GSU operation
Nineteen-year-old Jose Alfredo Herrera, a resident of Valley of Peace Village, has been charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, kept firearm without a gun license [...]

Machete wielding husband jailed after assaulting wife
Forty-five-year-old Wayne Welch, a taxi driver of a Rivero Street address, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being unable to meet bail, following a charge of [...]

Ballers for Life: Dangriga and Belize District win championships
The annual Belize Basketball Federation’s Ballers for Life Summer Camp ended last Friday with a big rally at the St. John’s College gymnasium.  The two-week camp, which was held from [...]

Crime Stats: Murder decreases while theft on the rise
There is good news coming out of the Police Department with respect to crimes. According to the figures released, major crimes are down by twelve point seven percent from January [...]

Open Learning; unconventional learning launched at Gwen Lizarraga High
This morning, under the patronage of the University of Belize, the Ministry of Education and the Commonwealth Open Schooling Association, Open School in Belize was officially launched. It’s the first [...]

Sister Cecilia Home receives diamond treatment from Diamonds International
Residents of Sister Cecilia Home for the elderly were treated to a hearty meal this afternoon through an act of charity by one Belize City company.  It was an experience [...]

Karate Summer Camp for kids
Every year at the end of summer there are a number of organizations that work to provide needy students with school supplies. It’s much anticipated and in some areas it [...]


Residents of Belize’s Capital City Display Patriotism
The placing of banners at strategic locations in the nation’s capital today marked the start of the September celebrations season in that municipality for 2013. The banners are just part of a larger programe called “Raise Your Flag and Win with Love” that organizers of Love FM, Love TV and their parent company, RSV Media Centre initiated in 2006 after the inventive idea was proposed by one if its former Managers, Alma Erskine. The event has evolved to an impressive, yearly tradition for households, businesses, and individuals who adorn their places or their bodies with symbolic, patriotic decorations at this time of year in the spirit of Belizean identity and pride. Chairman of the Belmopan Celebrations Committee, City Councilor Victor Perdomo, says that the postings of banners today heralds in the Council’s own initiative, which will take flight next week when it will rally its roughly 17 thousand residents to join the bandwagon.

Private Medical Facility Celebrates 25 Years
The Belize Medical Associates is celebrating its twenty- fifth Anniversary this year, since it was inaugurated on August 15, 1988. Over the years the facility and it’s services have grown in providing private medical service to the public. Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr. Marcelo Coye today related to us a brief history of the organization. DR. MARCELO COYE, Founder, Chairman, BOD, BMA “Five specialists got together to begin private medical care; it wasn’t available at the time, there were only public institutions and we saw the need for private medical care; so, five of us: Dr. Cawich, Dr. Castillo, Dr. Gough, Dr. Gonzalez and myself got together. This place, for those who live around here, was Puccini’s Plaza, it was a supermarket and we took it over and over the 25 years we have gradually expanded to where we are at this moment. The premises now include pharmacy, imaging, lab, hospitalization and now we have three floors on the other side and we have really expanded to provide quality care over the last 25 years. Since then there is a big difference, technology has changed and we have embraced that and we have also obtained the latest medical equipment to help the doctors make good diagnosis and from that comes better medical care. Between public health care and BMA, there are two different target populations so we shouldn’t really compare them but we take pride in what we do; we try to do it very good, we have the best medical doctors available here and we have good equipment and we also provide 24-hour medical emergency and if I am not wrong, I think we are the only who have a medical resident always available in the hospital 24/7 particularly to care for emergencies.”

Magistrate Says University Student Has to Answer for Wounding Police Officer
Twenty-one year old Deon Vernon, a second year student of University College of Belize charged with using insulting words and causing a wound to a police officer, was freed of the charge of using insulting words today when Magistrate Adolph Lucas upheld a “no case” submission made by his attorney, Kareem Musa. Magistrate Lucas ruled, however, that Vernon does have a case to answer for the charge of wounding. The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on October 11, 2012. The police went to Vernon’s residence on Freetown Road in response to a report of a disorderly conduct and upon their arrival they met Vernon and an altercation ensued between Vernon and police constable Jaidomiro Patt. Patt testified that Vernon grabbed his shirt and pushed against a wooden fence, kicked him, then threw him to the ground where a struggle ensued between them and during it he was wounded. Musa submitted that Patt did not make a report of the incident until a week later and it was because Vernon had gone to Internal Affairs Unit to make a complaint that Patt and another police officer beat him and caused several injuries to him. Musa also submitted that there were inconsistencies in Patt’s testimony and the testimony of the other police officer, PC Cortez. He said Cortez testified that he saw everything, but said he did not see Vernon kick Patt.

Improved Healthcare Planned for Southern Belize
The Ministry of Health, the World Bank and the Japanese Social Development Fund are working closely together promote better health for women and children in communities of the Toledo District. This week, members of the World Bank were in Belize meeting with officials from the Ministry of Health to examine the implementation phase of the Japanese Social Development Fund Grant which funds the “Improving Children’s Health and Nutrition” project. The project is being implemented by the Toledo District Health Council with supervision from the Ministry of Health. Working sessions to share the results and progress of this project were being held throughout the week and was facilitated by technical advisors of the Ministry of Health and members of the World Bank team led by Senior Operations Manager for the Grant, Carmen Carpio. According Carpio, the project focuses on pre-natal care, nutrition monitoring in the critical window of opportunity and school health interventions at the primary school level. The project intends to successfully accomplish its goal in the next two years.

Police Seek Duo For Attempted Murder
A man was nearly murdered yesterday. According to police reports, acting upon information received yesterday at about 12:30 am of a chopping incident at Mahogany Heights Village, Hattieville Police visited the residence of Kenneth Flowers. Upon arrival police found Flowers in a sitting position with three large apparent chop wound to his face and bleeding profusely. Initial investigation revealed that on the same date Flowers was at home alone in his bed when a male person entered the bedroom and inflicted several chop wounds to his face. Flowers was rushed to the Karl Huesnor Memorial Hospital in a serious but stable condition police have detained two young men from the said village pending the outcome of the investigations. Police are treating the matter as attempted murder.

Complainant Drops Charges Against Ladyville Resident
Twenty-four year old Gregory Goodfellow, a resident of Ladyville who was in prison remanded on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm, became a free man today when the charge was stuck out by Magistrate Clive Lino. Magistrate Lino struck out the charge after the complainant, who was 17 at the time, said he don’t want any further court action. The complainant was accompanied by his father. The incident occurred in May 2013. The boy reported to police that he was riding his bicycle when he was approached by Goodfellow, who pointed a firearm at him and put him in fear of his life. The boy said he rode away. He said Goodfellow did not fire any shots at him.

Dengue Control Campaign Launched on San Pedro
The Ministry of Health is implementing a Dengue Control Campaign in San Pedro Town. The campaign includes ultra-low volume spraying, thermal spraying of houses, premises inspections, spraying of drains and issuing of bed nets to homes in high-risk areas for dengue. The issuance of chemically-treated bed nets has proven to be the most effective form of personal protection to reduce dengue transmission. This initiative is free of cost to the residents and is being carried out in close collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council. Earlier this week personnel from the Vector Control Unit was dispatched to San Pedro Town to investigate and assess suspected cases of dengue that were reported in areas such as DFC, Boca del Rio and San Pablo. The Ministry of Health advises the public to take every precaution necessary to combat the breeding sites for the Aedes mosquitoes. In addition, the public is asked to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, such as containers that hold water in and around the home. Residents are also advised to keep house windows open whenever the Ministry of Health is conducting spraying activities in order for the insecticide to reach mosquitoes inside the home interventions will be employed on the island from August twenty sixth to the thirtieth.

Negotiations Continue Between BSI and Cane Farmers Association
Officials from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry today continued the negations into agreements between both parties. Chairman of the Committee of Management of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega told us about today’s discussions. ALFREDO ORTEGA “In our negotiations, the main points we are focusing on right now is the bagasse, the cane payment per sugar cane and the times that the payments are made for second and third payments for the farmers. Regarding the bagasse, presently, we are negotiating to get a financial benefit for the farmers in the use of the bagasse as fuel for Belcogen. At this moment, I cannot disclose any number because we haven’t reached a number as yet; we have started negotiations but we are in the very initial point on it. We are looking to have a better first cane payment and also we are working to bring forward the second and third payments on the time that is agreed upon right now and those are the things we are negotiating right now but we haven’t finalized on the main issues; we are trying to bring it to a closer date because BSI has said that they would want to start the crop earlier and presently, our agreement is that the third payment is on November 2 but we would want that payment to be earlier so that cane farmers can be prepared.”

Change of Venue for Reggae Tribute in Belize City August 23, 2013
On Sunday, the Bird Isle and Restaurant and Bar has been booked to host the sixth annual Tribute to Lucky Dube Concert. It’s a fundraiser organized by philanthropist Dara Robison, who has been continuously involved in feeding needy children. Robison spoke to Love news about why you should be a part of the concert. DARA ROBINSON “I have just changed the venue today due to the condition of the weather and the tennis court is flooded and the weatherman says it will be a constant weather therefore I went to Bird’s Isle where there is a shelter since the stage is inside and there is seating and it won’t hamper the show because it’s not a storm just a constant drizzling. I am still asking the people to bring out the food stuff because there will be a tent with the barrel and people will be there to receive the food items. I used to ask for canned foods but I realized that rice, sugar and vegetables – all these things are what people use every day. I usually scout out families that need the food countrywide and I try to give out the food; I don’t just focus in one area and there are times family would come to me and I would try to help them and I try to help people before I judge them. I am not rich but I am rich with love; this is a show that is a reggae show and it is reggae at its highest level and there is a message because it is Lucky Dube and he is like the second Bob Marley and I am a lover of reggae and this is my way how I raise funds for my program; others do barbecue and this is how I do mine.”


Nigerian taxi man attacked by minor
A Nigerian taxi man working in Dangriga is lucky to be alive. Sometime Thursday afternoon, around 4 pm, the taxi man was transporting a young man in that municipality. Upon arrival at the destination, an altercation occurred between the driver and passenger. It is unclear at this time if...

Guatemalans continue panning for gold in Belize’s Chiquibul Forest
Six Guatemalan nationals are in Police custody after they were caught early on Thursday panning for Gold in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. The men could not provide any proof of legal entry into the country but identified themselves as Guatemalans. One of the persons is only 17 years old...

PUP willing to meet with Cordel Hyde
On Wednesday we told you of a postponed meeting between leaders of the PUP and Cordel Hyde, who is seeking a return to the fold of Independence Hall. Some may not welcome him back so fondly as he is considered one of the main reasons the Opposition lost its...

More dispute in the PUP over selection of a Belmopan candidate
Amin Hegar, the standard bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP), executed a u-turn on his endorsement of Patrick Andrews as his successor in the Belmopan division, saying his supporters encouraged him to run again. But after publicly endorsing Mr Andrews and pledging to...

Repairs to George Price Boulevard begin
Residents of Belmopan may have noticed that works to repair the George Price Boulevard has begun. Earlier this week, we visited the area and found a team gravelling the road. According to City Administrator Angela Wade, the Council is preparing to do a complete overhaul...

Shooting in San Jose Village
The proprietor of a Chinese establishment is in Police custody after he allegedly shot a customer during an argument. The shooting took place in the San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. Reports are that around 6pm Wednesday night, 26 year old Erwin Hernandez was at the store...

Belize Diabetes Association receives donation of valuable medication
The Belize Diabetes Association is on the forefront of the fight against diabetes in Belize. Nicknamed “the silent killer,” it is Belize’s leading cause of death. In fact, worldwide, if the number of persons living with diabetes was its own population, at 371 million as of 2012 it would...

Belize National Volleyball Team narrowly beaten
On Wednesday we promised you an update on the Female U-20 CA Championship taking place in Copán, Honduras in which the Belize National Volleyball Team is participating. On Wednesday ladies played their third game. On their last two games, the team pulled off two impressive victories. This set the...

U-15 National Football Team return on Monday
The U-15 National Football Team- coined the Baby Jaguars- did not qualify for the second round of the U-15 CONCACAF tournament. However, the level of performance that they displayed in the tournament was outstanding and must be commended. President of the FFB Ruperto Vicente has recently returned from the...

BTL awards 14 scholarships
It is one of the longest standing scholarship programs in Belize, and 22 years later Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) never fails to put the smile on the face of a deserving student. On Thursday, 13 high school students and 1 junior college student were given the opportunity of a...

Children with disabilities highlighted at special meeting
The world organization dedicated to children’s affairs, UNICEF, has launched a situational analysis of the lives and activities of children with disabilities. Called “The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities,” it is the latest comprehensive look at the lives of blind, deaf, speechless, immobile and mentally...

Belize mentioned on US TV Show “Breaking Bad”
This past Sunday on the AMC show “Breaking Bad,” Belize got a mention, but not in a good way. In fact, the attorney to the show’s lead character, a high school chemistry teacher turned maker of methamphetamine, suggested he send an annoying DEA agent on a trip to Belize,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Letter to the Editor – What?!?! Mr.Chriss is quoting the Pope?
Having had my kids going to school here in Caye Caulker was sometimes conflicting with what I was raised with. Not being Catholic, I would allow my boys to decide for themselves if they wanted to be part of the religious practices at The Caye Caulker Roman Catholic Primary School. That made a lot of people conclude that I was anti Catholic. Being raised Dutch Reformed with Old fashioned Mennonite roots absolutely did not resonate with me anymore when I became a more conscious boy at 14. The Dutch Reformed were the supporters of Apartheid and that was totally against what I felt was right for me. The first Catholic priest I met sexually molested me and only because I reacted so quickly I did escape being raped. So later in life priests, pastors, preachers were not my favorite people I would want to socialize with. Organized religion really turned me off because of my experience with their representatives. The Native American and the Mayan way were more what I resonated with how I felt where my place in our Universe was. So after having lived in 10 different countries with very different cultures I came to Belize where I bought this land in Caye Caulker before I knew what Belize was about. My family thought I had gone around the bend. So when I came here with my oldest boy 25 years ago, we were having breakfast inside the Old Market at the Swing Bridge and he said: “So Pa, you really like it here don’t you?”


Will the fight between the Belize City Branch and the National Executive ever end? Bad blood and a bitter quarrel appear to be the causes of serious trouble between the Executive Council and the Belize City Branch of the Ex- Servicemen League. After accusing the Belize City branch of many wrongdoings — which include not meeting their obligation as mandated, failing to meet the financial and material needs of sick members, not meeting their obligations for funeral and other expenses for the families of veterans who die, and neglecting their fraternal obligations to the families of veterans of the branch — the Executive Council passed a resolution to sanction the branch by suspending its activities at the Canada House beginning June 17. The branch also was ordered not to enter or hold meetings on the property after being given the notice on June 12. The Belize City Branch, however, took the matter to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the suspension. The Executive has since levied a $300 monthly rental fee for the lower flat of their headquarters, Canada House, to the Belize City Branch, and instituted other measures that angered the branch members.

BISL goes for injunction; GOB lays preliminary objection. The Government of Belize this week gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that it will not—for the time being—go after Belize Investment Services Limited (BISL) for the $30 million in tax the company was given in June, when the Government took control of the International Business Corporation (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), which have been under the control of British billionaire Michael Ashcroft and Panamanian investors with European connections since 1990. BISL’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, told our newspaper that the application his client made for an injunction stands; however, the Government has indicated to the court that it would hold off on collection until the injunction application is heard, and until the Government’s preliminary objection is resolved. That preliminary objection has to do with the stance of the Government that the applicant – in this case BISL of the British Virgin Islands – does not have standing to challenge the tax matter.

At press time tonight, six Guatemalan gold panners are being held in police detention at the San Ignacio Police Station, pending charges for illegal entry and mining without a license, after they were allegedly caught yesterday afternoon 10.5 kilometers (over 6 miles) inside Belize, within the Chiquibul National Park. The men were reportedly part of a larger group of about 50, most of whom managed to escape after shots were fired at Belize security forces, leaving the six behind, Derric Chan, Park Ranger for Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the national park, informed Amandala. The detainees are Rudy Chacon, 20; Miguel Chacon, 24; Alejandro Mejia, 37; Nole Lopez, 30; Jose Perez, 17, and Belter Avalos, 18. Both FCD and police sources have confirmed to Amandala that the men were detained well inside Belize, without required immigration documentation.

Lambey-Arnold didn’t get jail time for a wounding charge; she was so overjoyed that she attempted to approach the magistrate to kiss him. Today, Shirley Lambey-Arnold, 35, a domestic of #88 Jane Usher Boulevard, pleaded guilty to a wounding charge upon Fay Pollard. According to police, around 9:30 last night, Pollard was passing in front of Brads Shop, located at #95 Cemetery Road, when she observed an ongoing altercation between a man and a woman. Pollard told police that the woman picked up a stone and threw it at the man, but the stone missed the man and caught her on her left elbow. She then went to the hospital where a doctor examined her and classified her injury as a wound. According to Lambey-Arnold in court today, she was passing Brads Shop when she saw a man with whom she had had a difficult relationship. Lambey-Arnold said that as she was passing the man, against whom she has already taken out two restraining orders, he threw a bottle at her, which almost cut her on her left foot.

Will the fight between the Belize City Branch and the National Executive ever end? Bad blood and a bitter quarrel appear to be the causes of serious trouble between the Executive Council and the Belize City Branch of the Ex- Servicemen League. After accusing the Belize City branch of many wrongdoings — which include not meeting their obligation as mandated, failing to meet the financial and material needs of sick members, not meeting their obligations for funeral and other expenses for the families of veterans who die, and neglecting their fraternal obligations to the families of veterans of the branch — the Executive Council passed a resolution to sanction the branch by suspending its activities at the Canada House beginning June 17. The branch also was ordered not to enter or hold meetings on the property after being given the notice on June 12. The Belize City Branch, however, took the matter to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the suspension. The Executive has since levied a $300 monthly rental fee for the lower flat of their headquarters, Canada House, to the Belize City Branch, and instituted other measures that angered the branch members.

“the Government side of the Committee will insist now that the Chairman calls an urgent meeting of the PAC to agree to a schedule for consideration of all the outstanding Auditor General reports,” says OPM. “The executive is dictating to the legislature…” PAC chair says. “You’re still asking the police to police themselves and we’re playing games. The system hasn’t worked from 1981.” The debate over whether the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should be reformed has turned into a political football, with both sides—the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP)—accusing each other of playing charades with this very important national issue. The Public Accounts Committee, as the National Assembly documents, “has the duty of examining, considering and reporting on the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the National Assembly to meet the public expenditure of the country; such other accounts as may be referred to the Committee by the House or under any Law; and the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts.”

At a private meeting of the leaders of the People’s Development Movement last week, Mr. Dean R. Lindo was elected leader of the newly-formed political party. A lawyer of a Church Street address, Lindo has been in politics for over 5 years as a member and leader of the National Independence Party. He quit the party earlier this year after having failed to influence the policies and strategy of that party. Other officers of the new party are Colville Young, Deputy Leader; Hugh Weir, Treasurer; Carlos Castillo, Secretary, and Lawrence Young, Chairman of the National Council. - pg. 1, THE REPORTER, Friday, October 31, 1969 As I look back on my early years in public life, I can’t help but remember the old saying, that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I participated in three different elections (1971, 1974, and 1977), never even came close to winning, but the political process taught me a lot of things they don’t teach you in school. As a result of my experiences between 1971 and 1977, there was advice I could give my second son, Cordel, when he campaigned in various conventions and elections between 1994 and 1998.

There have been three general elections in this newspaper’s 44-year history when we campaigned all-out for a political party. These were in 1979 for the PUP, 1984 for the UDP, and 1998 for the PUP. In all these general elections, the parties we endorsed were successful. Amandala receives its core support from Belizeans who are not part of this society’s established power structure. Once a government, any government, is formed in Belize, the established power structure immediately begins to assert itself. It doesn’t matter all that much who campaigned for the political party which is forming the government: permanent reality is the established power structure. What are the elements which comprise Belize’s established power structure? Well, firstly you must look at the foreign powerhouses which are most influential in Belize, and these are the United States and the United Kingdom. Then you must consider those who control the minds and thinking of Belizeans through the educational system, and these are the Christian religions here. The banks are very powerful, the insurance companies, the large merchant houses, and the major industrialists in food production, sugar, citrus, tourism, and the like. You get the picture.

The UNCAF U-20 Women Championship, a pre-qualifier for the CONCACAF Women U-20 in January 2014, opened for Belize on Wednesday, August 21, with our Belize U-20 Female National Team losing to host team Honduras by a respectable 2-1 margin. Gisel Baeza of Guinea Grass scored Belize’s only goal at the 50th minute. FFB Executive Member Cruz Gamez reported from Honduras that: “…It was a well-battled game that we lost due to lack of concentration (sic) an error. The girls played very well and we had more opportunities to score and win the game. “They are still very motivated and hope to do well against Guatemala tomorrow. “This is a very disciplined and talented group of girls that many people were impressed with, especially the goal keeper; she performed exceptionally well.”

The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team wins again. They are now 2 and 0 in the tournament. They beat El Salvador, 3 sets to 1, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23. Top scorer was again Sherika Burton with 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks). Jahshema Saunders had 13 points (12 kills, 1 ace), Maurissa Williams also contributed with 11 points (6 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace), and Leandra Betson had 6 points (4 kills, 1 block, 1 ace). Team Belize returns to the court tomorrow again at 5:00 p.m. against Nicaragua. Weds. Aug. 21, 2013 Unfortunately, the Belize Female Junior National Team lost their match today against Nicaragua losing in straight sets (3-0), 25-22, 25-11, 25-21. After a tough first set loss, the girls had a let-down in the second set but recovered in the middle of the 3rd set and reduced a 6-point margin to 2. The girls gave a valiant effort, but our unforced errors and strong serving by Nicaragua was the difference.

Our U-15 Male National Team is still in Grand Cayman, and will return to Belize on Monday, August 26; but while there the Belizean community is engaging them in the following activities: Today, Thursday, August 22, our boys will be taken to the beach, and thereafter to eat pizza. On Friday, August 23, they will be going to Dolphin Cove, and in the afternoon they travel on Cayman Airways to Cayman Bac. On Saturday, they will be playing a friendly match with a Cayman team, and return to Grand Cayman by midday. In the evening there will be a dinner party for our Baby Jaguars. On Sunday, they will go to visit the sting rays, and in the evening they will go to watch the CONCACAF U-15 Championship match.

The 1st Annual Belikin Western Spirit “King of the Hills” cycle race (15 laps) was held on Sunday, August 18, in San Ignacio, and it was the host team’s Geovanni Choto, 2012 Cross Country Champion, taking the top honors in this one. Here are the race results in the different categories. Open Category Top 10: 1st place – Geovanni Choto (Belikin Western Spirit); 2nd Delon Gentle (Becol Uprising); 3rd Geovanni Lovell (Telemedia Cycling); 4th Nissan Arana (Depredadores); 5th Donizetti Vasquez (Depredadores); 6th Daniel Choto (Belikin Western Spirit); 7th Walter Silva (Salvador); 8th Henry Moreria (Unattached); 9th Shane Vasquez (Belikin Western Spirit); 10th Peter Choto (Belikin Western Spirit). Junior Category: 1st place – Delone Gentle (Becol Uprising); 2nd Geovanni Lovell (Telemedia Cycling); 3rd Oscar Quiroz (Xibalban); 4th Zahir Figueroa (Becol Uprising); 5th Joslyn Chavarria, Jr. (Unattached); 6th Philip Mencias (Capital Jewel Cycling); 7th Adrian Aleman (Capital Jewel Cycling).

According to FIFA website, “Qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 are already underway. Canada 2014 will see the participation of three teams from the AFC (Asia), two teams from CAF (Africa), three teams from CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean) in addition to the Canadian hosts, two teams from CONMEBOL (South America), four teams from UEFA (Europe) and one team from the OFC (Oceania).” With only “three teams from CONCACAF” besides the hosts, Canada, qualifying to the U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, there is not much chance of our Belize National U-20 Female Team becoming one of those lucky three. But there is no harm in trying; and we are preparing for the future. The qualifying tournament for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 will be held in Cayman Islands in January of 2014, where the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship will take place. According to, “The host Cayman Islands will be joined by three-time Confederation champion the United States and 2010 runner-up Mexico, as well as teams from the Caribbean and Central America yet to be determined.”

The CYDP U-18 Football Tournament climaxed today with the final of a 2-game series that was played between Hattieville FC and (Mahogany) Heights FC at the Hostel field beside the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City. After 90 minutes of competition, Hattieville FC outscored Heights FC 5-0 and received the 1st place trophy and a $300-cash prize. The goal scorers were Troy Augustus, Brandon Myers, Jeffery Buller, Richard Waight and Devaun Zuniga. Hattieville had also won the first game 2-1, which was played on Monday, giving them an aggregate goal difference of 7-1. Heights FC also received a trophy and a $250- cash prize. Awards were also given to other outstanding performers in the tournament. They are as follows: Kareem Flowers (Jane Usher FC) – Most Goals, Joshua Martinez (Heights FC) – Best Goalkeeper, Lincoln Lopez (Heights FC) – Best Defense, Keithon Dyer (Hattieville FC) – Best Midfielder, Devaun Zuniga (Hattieville FC) – Best Forward, Marcus Lewis (Heights FC) – Most Valuable Player, and Kelker Palacio (Heights FC) – Most Disciplined Player. The Lake-I Strikers were selected as the Most Disciplined Team.

Two men have been released on bail, of $1,000 each, by the Corozal Magistrate Court after they were taken to court yesterday on charges of cattle theft. Fabian Lino and Alberto Garcia, both of Libertad Village, Corozal, were ordered to return to court on Monday, October 21. Clifton West, Sr., of Libertad Village, told Corozal Police that after checking his cattle he found that three were missing. Police launched an investigation into the disappearance of the cattle, which led to the arrest of Lino and Garcia. Both men were detained at the Corozal Police Station, where they were charged with the offenses. On Monday, August 19, they were taken to court to answer to the offenses.

Ernesto Vasquez, 44, a resident of Mile 2 ˝ , George Price Highway, and Lloyd Reyes, 42, a resident of #16 Conch Shell Bay, both of whom are fishermen, were charged today with taking conch during the closed season, which is from July 1 to September 30 each year, inclusive of those dates as well. Fisheries officer Callman Hall appeared on behalf of the Fisheries Department and informed the court of what led to the charge being levied against the men. On August 21, a team of fisheries officers, accompanied by two police officers, were on patrol in a Fisheries vessel named Fernia when, at 2:30 that afternoon, they spotted a skiff with two occupants in front of Southern Long Caye. As the vessel approached the skiff, the men were observed throwing two objects overboard. Upon reaching the area where the objects had been thrown, the officers saw what appeared to be two white sacks on the seabed.

Onofre Sabido, a 78-year-old man who is an invalid confined to a wheelchair, was attacked by two thieves who went into his house, beat him in the head with a bottle and robbed him of $400. Najirie Quiroja, 27, and Edwin Cruz, 18, both from San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk, were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of robbery, aggravated assault, and deadly means of harm. They were granted bail of $3,000 each and released. Quiroja and Cruz were later rearrested that same day and the additional charge of use of deadly means of harm was levied against them. They were taken back to court yesterday, Wednesday, August 21, and were remanded to prison until Tuesday, October 22. Police contend that the two men were the ones who went into Sabido’s home and beat and robbed him on Sunday, August 18.

Carol Wade, 43, a hair braider residing at #28 Dolphin Drive, Fabers Road, was made to answer to a slew of charges when she appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning. According to police, yesterday, PC Edelio Itza and other officers arrived at the corner of Pink’s Alley (Majestic Alley) and North Front Street, just in time to hear Wade utter “I nuh give a F%*& about unuh police and no police can detain me”. PC Itza attempted to detain Wade, who then put up a fight as she refused to be detained by PC Itza. An altercation ensued during which the PC was assaulted by Wade. Wade was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting lawful arrest, and using obscene language, to all of which she pleaded not guilty.

Roque Uh, 56, a farmer of San Jose Village, Orange Walk, is lucky to be alive after he was chopped by a man with a machete, who allegedly had tried to kill his son the night before. Uh is now recovering from the chop wound at the Orange Walk Hospital, and police are searching for his attacker. The incident occurred about 2:30 Sunday afternoon in front of a Chinese store in the village. Uh told police that the man was known to him only as “Max.” He said that on Sunday afternoon he and his son went to the store and while inside, Max suddenly came up and attacked his son, 18, with a machete. A police constable who was working at the store intervened and tried to disarm Max, but the effort was unsuccessful. Uh’s son ran to him, and when the elder Uh tried to protect his son, Max chopped him, then ran out of the store. Uh was then taken to the Orange Walk Hospital.

Police have released crime statistics for the first 7 months of the year. There’s been a noticeable reduction in the amount of murders across the country in recent months, and today the police provided the latest statistics for this year via press release. According to the information in the release, the first seven months of this year recorded 67 murders compared to the same period last year, which saw 88 murders from January to July. That is a considerable drop – 23.8 percent to be exact. The year’s welcomed decline in murders actually follows an inauspicious January, in which there were 13 murders, as compared to 4 in January of last year. As a matter of fact, in the first three months of this year, there were 30 murders as opposed to 23 in the first quarter of 2012. It is in the last three months that a significant decrease in the murder rate has occurred, with only 26 murders having been reported in the months of May, June and July. There were 44 murders in the same period last year.

A resident of Patchakan, Hector Ruiz, has been released on a bail of $1,000 and ordered to return to court on October 18 after he was taken to the Corozal Magistrate Court on Friday, August 16, on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. The incident occurred in Patchakan Village, Corozal District, at about 4:30 p.m. the preceding Sunday. Information to us is that Ruiz went to the home of the Corozal lands officer, who resides in Patchakan Village, for clarifications concerning their 50-acre family land in the village area. However, a confrontation occurred between Ruiz and a man who was at the lands officer’s home, and the lands officer intervened. Ruiz left the house, and as he was riding home, the village policeman and the same man with whom he had the confrontation approached and Ruiz was thrown off his bicycle.

Chinese businessman, Weushi Lui, 52, owner and manager of a store on 6th Avenue, Corozal Town, was held up at gunpoint and robbed while he was in his store, and the thieves got away with $500 from the cash drawer. The incident occurred at about 2:30 Saturday evening. Lui told police that two men entered the store, one of whom was armed with a 9mm pistol. The armed thief pointed the gun at him and demanded money, while the other thief went behind the counter and stole all the money that was in the cash drawer. The two thieves then ran out of the store. Police later went to the store, but the thieves were nowhere to be found. Police are investigating.

Julian Chi, 28, a teacher of Orange Walk Town, was found hanging by an electrical cord tied around the neck in his house. His wife and a neighbor took him down and he was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. The tragic incident occurred about 11:15 last night at Chi’s house in Trial Farm Village. Police say that they responded to reports and went to a house at the corner of Grunt and Saw Fish Streets, in the Black Creek area in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, and found the body of Chi lying face- up in the hall of his house. Chi’s wife, also a teacher, told police that at about 11:00 last night, her husband went into his bedroom to sleep. When she went into the room a few minutes later, she found him hanging from an electrical cord, apparently dead. She managed to loosen the cord and called for assistance from her neighbor.

Orange Walk police have launched an investigation into the burglarizing of Reimer Feed Mill, on Lovers Lane in Orange Walk, sometime between 5:30 Friday evening, August 16, and 7:30 Monday morning, August 19. The thieves escaped with about $13,904. The owner of Reimer Feed Mill told police that when he went to his place of business on Monday morning, he saw that burglars had gained entry into the business by cutting the lock on the steel door located on the north side of the building. The thieves entered through a glass door that was not locked to get into the office, avoiding the security cameras. Besides the money which was stolen from the office, nothing else was taken. Police have since launched an investigation into the matter.

Matthew Ifield, 32, a resident of Red Creek, Santa Elena, Cayo, was shot in the right thigh after a gunman chased him and fired at him while he was riding his bicycle at around 8:30 Saturday night, August 17, in the Red Creek area in Santa Elena. Police are now searching for the gunman. Ifield told police that about 8:30 Saturday night, he was riding home on his bicycle from a restaurant in Santa Elena Town when a man of Hispanic descent wearing a black shirt and a cap came from behind one of the buildings and fired several shots at him. Ifield rode faster, but the gunman ran behind him, firing several more shots at him. The gunman then escaped through the La Loma Luz Hospital compound. Ifield said that he rode straight home and upon reaching in front of his house, fell off his bicycle. His brothers, who were at home, quickly rushed him to the San Ignacio Hospital.

Two men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville after they were busted with a homemade gun and three 20-gauge shotgun cartridges at about 6:30 Saturday evening, August 17. T They were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today on charges of kept prohibited firearm and kept unlicensed ammunition. They have been remanded until October 25, when they will be returned to court. The two men, Rudy Amaya, 20, and Bryan Landy Lemus, 21, are both Belizean laborers of the San Martin area of Belmopan. Police say that when they searched Amaya, three 20-gauge shotgun cartridges were found in the right back pocket of his pants. When they searched the bag that was carried by Lemus, a homemade gun was found in it. Both men were immediately arrested and taken to the Belmopan Police Station, where they were charged with the offences.

— by Charles Leslie, Jr. Hi Mr. Andrade, I was just forwarded some information stating that you are willing to listen to any ideas for job creation outside of cruise tourism. Before I proceed, this letter is not saying that, I personally, do not contemplate cruise tourism. I am simply stating what I believe we should be taking a lot more other types of potential developments a lot more seriously than we have. I now take this time to give you some of our ideas, as professionals in the fly fishing industry of Belize, with over 50 years of experience. I personally just took a two-week vacation to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. I took the opportunity to talk to industry professionals that I met during my stay. It is quite obvious that their tourism product is far superior to ours when it comes to infrastructure and service. However, we do have more variety to offer, I believe, than the Yucatan, and we are virgin and more authentic.

— by Beatrice Geban, M. Ed. Dear Editor, Kindly allow me a space in your leading newspaper to bring to the general public an awareness of cyberbullying, which has now become commonplace amongst our digital natives and a society that has become fixated on sexuality and acts of crime against minors. The intention of the article is to take an in-depth analysis of what is cyberbullying, adverse effects on the victim, the bully and his role in cyber-attacks, parental involvement in preventing cyber -attacks and how our youth can safeguard their privacy. Cyberbullying has become a ubiquitous phenomenon, impacting the well-being of individuals, educational institution, family and peer relationships of many young people. According to an online research the legal definition of cyberbullying refers to: actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others; use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person; use of internet service and mobile technologies, such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging, with the intention of harming another person. Cyberbullying constitutes communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour intended to harm another or the recipient.

Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth but, of its very character, leaves its people intellectually and morally disoriented.” (Franz Fanon, 1966). Several members of Garifuna communities in Belize and the diaspora, as well as many other Belizeans, have expressed through radio, TV and social media, their outrage at the recent news that the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ investment at Harvest Caye is proposing to include the dügü as part of its marketing strategy to attract cruise tourists to Southern Belize. For those who are not aware, the dügü is the most outstanding feature of Garifuna spiritual life. This sacred ritual is conducted as a private affair for families to commune with the spirits of their ancestors. It is not a public cultural event. Family members who are called by the ancestors through the buyei, (shaman) regardless of their profession, occupation or standard of education, usually feel obligated to travel to the dabuyaba (the sacred temple) from wherever they reside in Belize or foreign countries to participate in this week-long ritual. The ritual involves sharing of food between living and deceased family members in a festive and intimate space. It also involves traditional chanting, singing and dancing to certain drum rhythms that hypnotize participants to uncontrollable danced possessions or a trance-like state that often resembles a mild or intense seizure. Persons in such states serve as a medium through whom the spirits of deceased parents, grandparents, great grandparents or other ancestors deliver wise counsel, stern admonitions or positive affirmations for family reconciliation and healing of illnesses or other adversities. By the end of a dügü, family members are often united in ways that they might have never experienced before, and return home feeling healed, protected and empowered to face the challenges of their lives.

It is devastatingly painful to listen, read and realize that our political leaders of the UDP are no different from the PUP. It’s like with the same mouth that they curse the past Musa administration for their sweetheart deals, they then turn around and defend their own sweetheart deals. Also with the same hand with pointed finger that they point at the Musa administration for their flagrant abuse of power, they turn around and use that same hand to shake hands with the devil. It is amazing, and I pray sufficient right-thinking Belizeans have eyes to see their deception, ears to sieve through their lies and heart to decipher hypocrisy. I will keep writing and exposing their own secret agreements like the Providence Energy Ltd. oil contract, but can also draw parallel with their modus operandi in the ongoing treatment of the Norwegian Cruise Line issue. Not legally binding So Minister Godwin Hulse keeps saying that the Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding, and suggests that thus it is of no significance and legal effect … so I ask what is therefore the need for it to encompass the proposed terms?

The birth of Avengers came about when a selected team from Cayo was participating in the Belize Inter-District Football competition. The Cayo selection travelled to the Toledo District to participate and lost terribly to an unnamed Toledo team by 6 goals to 1. The then District Officer posted to the Cayo District, Mr. Eric Fairweather, convened a meeting with his chief clerk, Mr. David Cruz, and other public officers who were also members of the Cayo team – Gerald “Speedy” Henry, Pappi Smith and other members of the public service. This meeting decided that this sort of embarrassment would never again happen to a Cayo team. The participants in that meeting made a decision to name the Cayo selection the “Mighty Avengers.” That was the birth of the Mighty Avengers. The Avengers will have to be described to my readers in a romantic atmosphere for over the years these players have dazzled our eyes with romantic ecstasy from the football field. A defence line led by Gerald “Speedy” Henry, Winston “Tan Tan” Garcia, Elias “Legs” De Leon, Theodore “Bones” Lennan; midfielders led by Albert “Pappi” Smith, and at times I want to say that Pappi Smith was probably the best footballer I have ever seen play in this country. Some may want to challenge, and you have every right to challenge me, as we live in a democracy.

Events of history have solidified the Rt. Hon George Price as the founding political leader of the modern nation-state of Belize. Over time historians will gather the works, policies, projects and ideas and comb through them and assign his overall contribution a place in Belize’s relatively young existence. But this essay is about another would-be Belizean political leader, Assad Shoman. Outside of Mr. Price, Assad Shoman in my judgment remains the most intriguing of them all. I shall not give a chronological background of Shoman since others who are far more familiar with these historical events have already done so elsewhere. Rather I would like to look at what could have been if Assad Shoman had been a Hugo Chavez. My only two working encounters with Dr. Assad Shoman were in 1989, when the Los Angeles-based BREDAA organization invited and hosted SPEAR for a week-long visit with the Belizean and activist community in Southern California. The following year, SPEAR reciprocated by hosting members of BREDAA in a series of events surrounding international Pan African Liberation Day in Belize.

Earlier this month, SATIIM and four bordering communities from the Sarstoon Temash region had applied for an injunction in the Supreme Court against US Capitol Energy to have the oil company suspend its oil exploration activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That hearing was scheduled for September 19th of this year, but today SATIIM and the leaders of the communities of the Sarstoon Temash region travelled from Toledo to Belize City to adjourn their injunction. According to SATIIM’s Executive Director, Greg Ch’oc, SATIIM instructed its legal counsel to adjourn the injunction because they found out that US Capitol will not drill before November. He said that they felt that they needed to ensure that they get an earlier date for the more substantive case and that is what they did today. He told reporters that they adjourned the injunction without prejudice to their right to come back to court should US Capitol proceed with drilling inside the park.

The march on Independence Hill today, led by Patrick Menzies and Belize Can, did not attract the thousands who showed up to support the Constitution Marches held in recent weeks; and although the turnout has been estimated at roughly 100 supporters, the resolve of those who did participate was notable. Heavy rains did not deter the participants from standing their ground, as they continued their call to the Government of Belize for the retraction—or at least the “freezing and fixing” of the Gender Policy. The Belmopan march, predominantly attended by Hispanic Christians, did not have the support of the mainstream churches from across Belize. Pastor Scott Stirm of Belize Action, one of the lead mobilizers of the church community, issued a short statement Tuesday evening, saying, “The Constitution marches were brilliant, and we appreciate Patrick Menzies’ zeal. There was broad support due to the theme of the Constitution Marches. In consulting with leaders all over the nation, there was not a resounding AMEN on Menzies’ UB demonstration. Nothing personal; just different theme. No corporate AMEN.”

Mark Seawell, who is currently wanted for a slew of drug-related offenses in the United States, has been fighting extradition to that country for over 7 years. In October 2006, the US government requested his extradition for his alleged involvement in the operation of a marijuana and cocaine smuggling business. The US Justice Department claims that Seawell and his brothers, Duane and Gary, were responsible for the transportation of cocaine to the US through Mexico as well as for the sale of marijuana between December1994 and August 1997. The three also allegedly engaged in the transfer of drug proceeds to Houston, Texas; Lakeland, Florida, and Belize. According to a release that was issued in February of 2010 by the US Justice Dept., a federal grand jury in Columbus, Ohio, had indicted Seawell, his brothers — Duane (currently serving a 17-year sentence in a US prison) and Gary (who was arrested 12 years after the indictment) — and 69 other individuals in 1997 for running an operation which used young people, often college students, as couriers to carry drugs hidden in the soles of tennis shoes into the Columbus area. Approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine would typically be hidden in the soles of the shoes.

A member of the US Senate was in Belize today. Robert L. Jackson, a District 11 senator in the Mississippi State Senate, made a short visit to the country. He was at a lunch meeting this afternoon at the headquarters of the Belize Credit Union League on Victoria Street in Belize City, where he met with the stakeholders in the credit union sector. Jackson told Amandala that he has a friend, Cynthia Ellis, who lives here and with whom he’s been working on community-based developments. The senator became aware of the country through Ellis, who he said is very informed, and whom he considers a mentor with whom he can discuss things that are taking place in his community or in his personal life. When he had an opportunity to come here for a short vacation and to visit the islands, he made arrangements with Ellis, a Belizean who has worked on cooperative-based initiatives locally and abroad.


Belize Tourism Board reaches out to the cast of Breaking Bad
I don’t know if you watch this down there, but BEST SHOW EVER! This is awesome. Tracey There be spoilers ahead… On last Sunday night’s episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Saul and Walter White had an amazing little interchange about sending someone to Belize. Of course, they weren’t really talking about a relaxing getaway spent exploring sandy beaches, scuba diving, caving, and all of the other activities offered by the Central American nation. “Sending to Belize” was Breaking Bad‘s version of “sleeping with the fishes.” Yeah, they were talking about murder. But that didn’t stop the Belize Tourism Board from jumping on the opportunity to capitalize on the reference. In fact, they launched a campaign to send the cast of Breaking Bad on an all-inclusive trip.

Sure it seems a bit lame to pick a favorite when it comes to Mayan Ruins. (BTW, I hate the word “ruin”…this is hardly something that is wrecked…) 1. Most of them are pretty awesome…if only for the amazing history and culture they represent. 2. They are all very different. Some are very well groomed and compact…some require an adventure hike through thick jungle from temple to temple…some hours of travel to actually reach them. First…let me tell you quickly how I got there. There are lots of ways…all resorts in the Cayo District will offer you a half day trip to the site but if you are staying in San Ignacio, like I was, it’s super easy. And can be SUPER cheap. You’ve got options. You can take the bus that leaves hourly from San Ignacio to the village of Succotz (just 15 minutes away) for only $2bzd.

Top 10 Reasons why Belize makes for Honeymoon Bliss Infographic
There are many good reasons to visit Belize, that sunny little Caribbean jewel in Central America, and having a honeymoon holiday in paradise is certainly one of them. Why honeymoon in Belize? While destination honeymoons set in exotic tropical locales have been growing in popularity in recent years, new-kid-on-the-block Belize is experiencing an increase in romantic couples seeking affordable luxury in an idyllic setting, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s wedding and honeymoon planner. Chaa Creek’s Denise Duran said that she believes positive word of mouth combined with the desire to do something different is behind the increase in enquiries and bookings Belize is experiencing. She also said that Chaa Creek has just announced new complimentary “add-ons” to their all-inclusive Belize Honeymoon vacation packages to make a Belizean honeymoon even more attractive.

Belize Breakdown- What it really costs
For every country we travel we plan to breakdown the cost and highlights. Costs for 10 days: (Listed in US Dollars, BZD fixed $2 to $1 USD) Food: $210.46 Drinks: $133.62 Lodging: $23.00* Transportation: 65.50 Activities: $87.00 Supplies: $0 Visa Related: $37.50 Misc: $0 Total Daily Cost: $56.01 Total Cost: $560.08 The Highlights: Our trip started in the Cayo district on the western part of the country outside of the town of San Ignasio. This was our jungle time where we Bug hunted, bird watched, and rode horses. - See more at:

International Sources

Standard Teotihuacan Unit STU Temple Complex Layout Design Surveyed by Hugh Harleston Jr. UAC-Kan Research Group Ancient Olmec Mayan Aztec Hunab Geometric is Double Twice 2x Value of Royal Cubit Unit of Great Pyramid of Giza Dimensions Hugh Harleston Equates Earth Measure to Hunab Ku Mexican God of Time and Cosmos of Hamlet’s Mill Wheel of Time Whorl Spirals Carvings of Archaic Rock Petroglyphs Ancient Earth Matrix Leyline System
Hugh Harleston Jr., who determined the unit of measure used to survey the vast ancient temple complex of step pyramids, canals, plazas, and avenues, at Teotihuacan (near Mexico City), the archaic unit measure length dubbed the hunab, named after the ancient mexican god of the cosmos and time, Hunab Ku, has demonstrated that the hunab (also called the STU, the Standard Teotihuacan Unit) was earth commensurate, a reduced embodiment of the dimensions of the earth, as is the egyptian royal cubit, which is 1/2 the length of the hunab, not conicidentally, both determined by the rate of precession, the rate of the slow wobble of the earth’s axis, which is apparent by the slight shift of the constellations, counterclockwise, from year to year, because of the wobble, whose rate is 72 years/degree. This archaic yet accurate scheme for geometry (earth measure) was achieved by measuring precession according to the methodology explained in article #2 at, probably measured with the legendary Mayan Staff of Power, in the case of the ancient Mexicans, and a device such as the Dixon Relict, which was discovered inside of the Great Pyramid, used for earth measure (geo metry) by the Egyptians, both having the utility of the modern application of them, Crichton Miller’s Celtic Cross, as well as, the ancient Maui’s Tanawa and the Antikythera Mechanism; all designed to measure time for geometry (which means earth measure).

Belize defeats Panama in five sets
A very tight victory for Belize over Panama by 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 17-17) at the 15th Women’s U-20 Central American Championship. This was the second match of the event decided in five sets and became the highest scoring match until now with 229 points total. Panama came from behind edging Belize whocouldn’t seal the deal in three sets,engaging in foolish mistakes which Panama took advantage of; the winners were too self-confident. Belize improves their win-loss record to 3-1 and Panama sustains a 1-4 mark. With 14 points, Middle Blocker Maurissa Williams was the best scorer for Belize helped by SpikerSherika Burton with 13 points. Setter AdjanisArosemena and SpikerYessileth Mendoza were Panama’s the top scorers with 11 and 10 points respectively. Captain Sherika Burton of Belize not too chatty said “we didn’t play our hardest”.

Earning an Income from Sailing in Belize
When Cliff Wilson Jr. discovered that his parents were leaving San Francisco to move to Belize and set up a sailing business, he had just one reaction: “Can I come too?” At the time he was working as director of a ski resort in Tahoe, but the sparkling waters of the Caribbean were impossible to resist. Thirteen years later the family’s various charter businesses occupy half the marina near Belize City. Now Cliff ’s office is a boat, and he spends his days as a skipper taking tourists out around the islands in glorious sunshine and turquoise sea. This part of the world is a snorkeling, sailing, and diving heaven. It is a picture-perfect location for tourists with superb natural amenities, and Cliff lives right in the middle of it—out on the water every day with the sun on his back, wondering where best to anchor for lunch, enjoying the company of relaxed tourists.

A Simpler Life on a Tropical Island in Belize
Like many other couples, Tamara and her husband, Ron, had very busy lives in their hometown of Laramie, Wyoming. Ron was the Communication and Public Relations Director for the Wyoming Education Association. Tamara was the Campaign Director for the American Heart Association. They needed to make a change. “What inspired us to make the move to Belize was the hope of simplifying our lives,” says Tamara. “And we wanted to give our son (13 at the time) the opportunity to live abroad like I did at tha

Five Caribbean States Join Pilot for Energy Efficiency
Every year, the Caribbean's electric sector burns through approximately 30 million barrels of fuel. Overall, the region imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products annually. Dr. Al Binger, technical coordinator for the recently launched multi-million-dollar Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project, said that the region must now focus on ways to reduce the amount of fuel used to generate electricity, and in the process save millions of dollars. He told IPS that building modifications, such as replacing windows and doors, installing solar water heaters and other retrofitting activities, are among the major components of the EDS project, which he hopes will eventually be embraced by all 15 members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). “Improving the efficiency of energy use in the building sector is a project priority. We’re looking for a 10 to 15-percent improvement across the whole electricity sector in this pilot project, which means we could save the equivalent of about 400,000 dollars per year for the pilot project [in five countries]. So you see, energy efficiency pays back quickly. It’s a good investment,” he told IPS.

Aaron Paul Is Down For A 'Trip To Belize' After Offer To 'Breaking Bad' Cast From Country's Tourism Board: 'Let's Do This!' Jesse Pinkman Says
“We figure you all need a little time to relax after a riveting season and, if you ask us, there’s no better place to relax than Belize. It’s really the least we can do for the entertainment you have provided us with over the last six years,” the board wrote. “So allow us an opportunity to entertain you – we have the Blue Hole for Walt, purple fish for Marie, geology for Hank, great music and friendly people for Jesse, delicious breakfast cuisine for Walt Jr., several nice locations to swim for Skyler, colorful clothing for Saul, and the list goes on. We look forward to hearing back from you. Best of luck in the remainder of the season.” Well, at least one “Breaking Bad” character responded to the offer. Aaron Paul, who portrays Jesse Pinkman on the AMC series, is down for a trip to Belize – but not the type that ends in death. Paul tweeted to the Belize Tourism Board, “Ummmm..let’s do this!”

The Best Kept Secret of Belize Resort Marketing: Word of Mouth
One of the most effective tools that you should be using in your Belize resort marketing is word of mouth. Did you know that word of mouth accounts for 54% of travel planning sources? That means over half your customers ask for recommendations from their friends, family, and colleagues when planning their next trip. To drive more Belize Hotel Reservations, you must drive more personal recommendations using Social Media or good old-fashioned word of mouth.

A Clever Response to an Unflattering Mention: Why Your Business Needs to Follow Suit
Timeliness is essential in marketing. Knowing when to launch, promote, or even end a campaign is a major factor of your business’ success. Knowing when to act and how to respond can generate great buzz for your brand. One company that comes to mind who has made their mark in the ad world from their timely ads and messaging is Oreo. Remember their impressive ad they posted on Twitter referencing the power outage at the 2013 Superbowl with the words, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark”? Well earlier this week, another organization caught my eye. Not only were they timely, it was their message that was a head-turner. On Sunday, 4.77M viewers tuned in for Breaking Bad’s second episode where Saul, (the main character Walt’s lawyer, in case you do not watch the show) suggests to Walt that he send Hank (Walt’s brother-in-law that knows too much) on a “trip to Belize,” which really meant getting rid of Hank in a more permanent way. Now, the beautiful land of Belize did not have to respond to such an unflattering reference about their country. But, the next day the Belize Tourism Board cleverly responded with a statement that addresses they knew what the reference meant, but was still flattered to be included on the show.

August 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belize takes the lead in implementing first CARICOM regional energy efficiency project
Belize became the first of five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to begin implementation of a multi-million dollar regional energy efficiency project, the Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and making the energy sectors in the participating countries of Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago more efficient while increasing their use of renewable energy. The project was officially launched on 13 August 2013, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, and was attended by approximately 30 key stakeholders involved in the project.In his opening remarks, Dr. Al Binger, Energy Science Advisor at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and Technical Coordinator for the ESD Project, said that the Caribbean region imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products, annually, with 30 million barrels used in the electric sector, and since buildings are major consumers of electricity across the region, the project focuses on the buildings sector for improving the efficiency of energy use. “The regional project has five national components whose outputs are expected to make a significant contribution to improved use of electrical energy in these countries and provide examples of best practices across the region, and consists of various interventions whose outputs will contribute to increasing the markets, addressing financing barriers, and increasing awareness and building capacity,” he said. ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť

Ambergris Today

Health Officials Monitoring Dengue Cases in San Pedro, Belize

Junior Sailors Battle for National Championships Spot at St. George Caye
The general public is invited out to cheer on the sailors as they make their bids for a spot in the national championship that will be held in November of this year. Sailors from around the country will converge on St. George’s Caye on Sunday September 1st. Sailing Clubs participating will be Belize City including Liberty, Sea Scouts; Corozal Bay, Placencia, San Pedro, Ambergris; and the newly formed Caye Caulker Sailing Club. Seven other races will include the single handed SunFish, Lasers, Picos, high performance multihulls and the venerable Sea Scout Bosuns. Traditional racing dories are also expected. Pre-registration closed on 9th August but all sailboat enthusiasts are welcome to enter (However, only pre-registered sailors will receive prizes.)

Grand Opening of Ambergris Divers Resort
Ambergris Divers Resort opened its doors to their invited guests for their grand opening. The guests enjoyed nice appetizers under the stars while enjoying the ambiance around the pool, ending the night by quenching their thirst with tropical drinks under the the Caye Bar palapa, while enjoyiong some reggae music by the talented Man at Work. This all inclusive tropical dive resort is now open to all dive lovers to enjoy and unwind in paradise.

Belize Tourism Board Extends Free Vacation to Stars of Breaking Bad
This is why I love Belize and its entire people – we are friendly and inviting people who love to show hospitality to just about anybody. Case in point, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) invited eight cast members of the popular AMC drama “Breaking Bad” and its creator Vince Gilligan to a full paid vacation to Belize, even after the show had a not-so-quite-flattering comment of our country. Instead of freaking out on what could have been some bad publicity for Belize, the BTB took the initiative to put a positive spin on the buzz that the show created for the country. On last week Sunday’s episode (August 18, 2013) of Breaking Bad one of the characters suggested sending another character on a “trip to Belize” which was intended as a euphemism to have him murdered. Not quite the best image that we want painted of our country. ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť

Misc Belizean Sources

Tanya Carter wows thousands in Suriname
Belizean artist Tanya Carter has performed before thousands in Suriname as part of the ongoing CARIFESTA XI. According to Aurelio Sho of Ak’kutan Radio, Carter took to the stage at the Jazz Caribbean Party-Reggae/Soca concert and performed hits like “My Ex-Boyfriend,” and “Mr. Dj Boy” among other songs.

Fe Movie Premier in Benque
CACHE is having their Benque Movie night tonight at Cancha Marshalleck. They'll be showing Fe - Faith - starting at 7:00pm. It's being shown throughout Central America this weekend. "CACHE partners with NM Productions to bring to you for the first time throughout all of Central America a Movie Premiere- Fe/ Faith."

National Belize Youth Awards
"The Department of Youth Services is now accepting nomination forms for the National Belize Youth Awards 2013 to take place on November 8, 2013. Help the department identify and award the exemplary youths in this beautiful jewel of ours Belize. The Belize Youth Award is a prestigious national honor bestowed on outstanding young Belizeans from age 15 to 29 who demonstrate high standards of achievement and commitment within their various communities. The categories include: Youth in Sports, Media, Volunteerism, Arts and Culture, Person Living with Disability, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology, Environmental Awareness, Tourism and Academic Excellence, Youth Service providers and social clubs."

Emmanuel Mangar: Cayo's Superstar
Emmanuel Mangar is going for the $10,000 Be the Next Superstar prize. Text 3 to S-T-A-R (7-8-2-7). His talent and originality is commendable. He plays every Friday night at Mr. Greedy's, so check him out if you want to be amazed. Good luck, Emmanuel!

Express Oh! Café Reveals New Treats
Express Oh! Café has rolled out some new treats, and boy do they look yummy. Cayo has some great coffee shops and cafés to choose from, and a new one, Guava Limb Café, which is opening this Saturday. "Coconut Fudge, Peanut Fudge, Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate stuffed Vanilla Cookies, Ginger cookies and Chocolate peanut Brownies..." ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť

Channel 7

Sex Scandal Swirls Around Psychiatric Ward At Western Regional
A driver at the western regional hospital is suspended tonight after an investigation by the Ministry of Health, which confirmed some serious irregularities in the Western Regional Psychiatric Ward. The ward is the only in-patient psychiatric facility in the country – and because it houses mentally ill patients, the unit has strict protocols – but 7News has learned that these regulations were ignored by hospital staff who failed to protect a female patient dealing with serious emotional trauma – so serious that she has been deemed unfit to face trial at this time. 7news has confirmed that the patient, a woman who is being held pending charges has been having what appears to be a relationship with a hospital driver. 7News has confirmed that nurses repeatedly buzzed the driver into the closed unit at night. He then visited the female in her room. The female, who, again, is there under the court’s orders pending serious charges, was also allowed by the nurses to leave the unit and visit her family. Because of the sensitive nature of the case, we cannot disclose her name, but it’s become a source of consternation for the Hospital Administration and the Ministry of Health.

Hon. Saldivar: PAC Moving Forward With Our Without Chairman Espat
What will happen with The Public Accounts Committee? Last night on the news you heard PUP Committee Chairman Julius Espat reject the Government side’s proposal to move forward. They want to review the years 1998 to 2008, as well as 2008 – 2012; Chairman Espat says he will only review 2012 going forward. Today UDP Member of the Committee and a past chairman himself John Saldivar said that Espat can do as he wishes, the government side has its own plan:… Hon. John Saldivar - Member - Public Accounts Committee "Because the previous committees that were constituted between 1998 and 2008 were never given an opportunity to examine the auditors' general report. From that period we want to also examine those reports, along with examining the reports from 2008 onwards." Jules Vasquez "Mr. Espat says that if you all want to do that, you have to have a house special select sub committee, but the work of the committe that he chairs, is to review 2012 going forward." Hon. John Saldivar "He will certainly need to show me which part of the standing orders say that, and his record speaks for itself, that he simply does not understand the standing orders." Jules Vasquez "This thing has traction from civil society, social partners. How will you all resist that?"

GSU Busts MS-13 Gang Member In Cayo
The GSU is famous for making raids at gang hotspots in the city, but this morning, they were focusing on Latin gangs in the Capital city. Tonight, 19 year-old Jose Alfredo Herrera is serving his first night of a 6 year prison sentence after the Gang Suppression Unit busted him with drugs, weapons and ammunition near to his house in Valley of Peace. The GSU searched his house this morning at around 5 o’clock, where they found nothing illegal. But, when they searched a lot in front of his house, they found a 16 gauge shotgun with a galvanized pipe attached to the barrel in a plastic bag. It was loaded with a 16 gauge cartridge. They found a second 16 gauge cartridge inside a black plastic bag atop a tree trunk. The officers also found a white bucket with 650 grams – or 22.9 ounces – of marijuana. Herrera admitted that all the items belonged to him, so, as a result, he was charged with drug trafficking, 1 count of kept an unlicensed firearm, and 2 counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Junior Jaguars Honored In Cayman Islands
On Tuesday, 7News told you about the U-15 National Football team’s performance in the Cayman Islands in the first ever Under 15 Tournament organized by CONCACAF. The team faced St. Lucia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Grenada in Group B, and they played exceptionally, scoring 11 goals, and only giving up three, and defeating all the teams in their group except Guatemala, which managed to advance to the next round. With a final performance of 3 wins and 1 loss, the Belize Delegation has been knocked out of the tournament, but they aren’t returning home until Monday. That’s because they have been awarded by CONCACAF with an extended stay, all expenses paid at their hotel, Holiday Inn Resort. The reason?Because of their good, disciplined behavior of the entire delegation, along with their outstanding performance on the field.

UNICEF Reports On World’s Disabled Children
You probably know all about 15 year-old Rowan Garel, the blind young man who’s taken on great challenges to raise money for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired. He’s climbed Victoria Peak, walked across Belize, and dove the Blue Hole. But, while Rowan is the model of living with disabilities, he is not the norm. Children all across the world struggle with their disabilities on a daily basis, and that struggle was the main focus of the launch of the UNICEF’s 2013 reports. They’re called the State of the World’s Children: Children With Disabilities, and the Situation Analysis of Children With Special Needs and Disabilities. Today, all the outreach organizations gathered at the Radisson Fort George Hotel for the launching where they shared their perspective on how well Belize is performing to improve the lives of children living with disabilities. Here’s an excerpt of what the speakers presented to their colleagues and peers: Eloida Bautista - Special Olympics Belize "Today is indeed a great pleasure for me to stand here among friends and colleagues who have championed the rights of children with disabilities. It is also a memorable occasion to know that all organizations such as Care Belize, NCFC, Special Olympics Belize, NARC, Paps Now, Office of the Special Envoy have joined forces to build awareness and work arduously for children with disabilities. We welcome you to join us in our work without children and add aspects of their well-being and focusing on their abilities."

Hon. Saldivar Discusses His PUP Opponents
Who will represent the PUP in Belmopan? On Tuesday, you saw PUP hopeful for Belmopan Amin Hegar and PUP deputy Leader for the West Julius Espat shot him down – saying he “can’t run.” And while the PUP have to play out that internal struggle – who would the incumbent John Saldivar rather face? He told us today: Hon. John Saldivar - UDP Belmopan Representative "Anyone of them can come Jules; I am very confident. The hardest election to win is the election when they're looking to be re-elected in government; we did that, I did that in 2012." Jules Vasquez "Yes, but you only won by a little over two hundred votes." Hon. John Saldivar "That's enough to put me in the national assembly and I am sure that will happen again when the next elections comes. Whosoever their candidate is." Jules Vasquez "Amin Hegar came dangerously close to an upset in 2012; wouldn't you prefer to face Jason Patrick Andrews being that he's a political newcomer and a rookie?" Hon. John Saldivar "The road already travelled is the easy road to travel again."

FCD’s Teaches Environmental Education In Poptun
7news was in Poptun Guatemala last week Friday for the signing of a bi-national agreement to combat illegal logging in the Chiquibul – that is, the Montanas Mayas Chiquibul on the Guatemalan side and the Chiquibul Forest on the Belize side. It’s a unique agreement because it demonstrates how conservationists are forging common ground across a shared ecosystem when diplomats at the state level have a hard time even settling on a date for a joint referendum. After that agreement was signed, the Friends for Conservation and Development headed a meeting where they taught their Guatemalan counterparts who to embark on an environmental education programme to save the Chiquibul. This took place in Poptun, as well and our camera was there for this rare bi-national strategy session: Jules Vasquez reporting The meeting was to promote Bi-National Community Involvement through Environmental Education Efforts. It was a small, consultative session between the Friends for Conservation and Development and its Guatemalan counterparts. There was a lively exchange of information with input from both sides, but really FCD was leading the session, with executive director Rafael Manzanero explaining their environmental educational initiatives. Followed by FCD’s two environmental educators making PowerPoint presentations explaining what they are doing to educate border communities using what’s known as the PRIDE system of environmental education.

Lessons In Humility For Precinct Police Youth Cadets
Police may not be popular as role models in poor neighborhoods where they are more well known for brute force and ignorance than for community policing. But with precinct policing that is slowly changing and the very active police youth cadet corps in many neighborhoods is at the forefront of that change. Today we found the Cadet Corps from Precinct 2 helping out one of the elderly residents of the area. Sergeant Brent Hamilton told us why they did it:… Sargeant Brent Hamilton - Mahogany Police Youth Cadets "Part of discipline to show love and appreciation to persons older than them and to let them understand that they're going to get old and they must assist people that are older than them. One of my methods of the Cadet that I work under is to do a good turn everyday, whether it is assisting someone crossing the street or whether it is giving someone something - it is doing good."

BDA Gets CellerateRX Donation
It is estimated that as many as one in eight Belizeans over the age of 20 have diabetes and theBelize Diabetes Association is at the forefront of the effort to push education and healing. Today, they did that with a donation of CellerateRX. The president of the association explained its usage and availability… Anthony Castillo - President Belize Diabetes Association "This medication is primarily used for diabetic ulcers, surgical wound, and regular ulcers. As you may be aware, problem with the feet is one of the complications suffered by persons living with diabetes, while we at the association continue to preach healthy choices for healthy living. There are some of us, for one reason or another, who will have complications with the feet. I think that there are much too many amputations taking place in this country, and it's all because of the lack of education, the lack of care etc. We've partnered with BFLA, NHI on the corner of Mahogany Street and Boulevard; we are also partnering with Cleopatra White Polyclinic, and we'll be also partnering with Southern Regional Hospital. Persons wishing to get their wound seen and dressed, need to go to the clinic, they'll have their name on a register and they'll be seen by the nurses."

BTL Donates 14 New Scholarships
School is about to start, and while parents are trying to scrape up all the funds to get their kids ready, a few are lucky enough to qualify for scholarships. And for those few, a BTL scholarship is considered to be among the best. This year, though, only 14 were lucky enough to get it, that’s down from 26 last year – and it’s only 14 out of the hundreds who applied. We found out who they are at today’s ceremony:… It was no easy task when it came to the selection process. The 14 students were selected out of 458 applicants. Monica Bodden reporting They are Belize’s largest Telecommunications Company and every year, they give back to communities around the country. This year, through their annual scholarship program BTL added 14 more scholarships to their list this morning to some well deserved recipients. Dr. Dionne Miranda - General Manager of Customer Services/ PR "We are here today to celebrate 14 young people who have been successful in gaining BTL's scholarships and the reason I say 'celebrate' is because Michael, who is the project manager for this - this isn't a one day thing for him. So, basically today we're celebrating the people who choose the scholarships, we're celebrating some teachers and parents who are a part of the whole education system and we're also celebrating the fact that BTL has been doing this for many years and we now have hundreds of students who have actually graduated through our program. It's a celebration, we start off with awarding them their scholarship, brief word from the Minister and now we will now invite everybody to lunch following so that we can get to know each other a little better. Because unlike other scholarship programmes, BTL believes in mentorship of the student so it's not just about giving them money or paying bills. Michael has a close relationship where he talks to the kids, he trains them, mentor them and parents asking him for advice and help and he becomes a parent to them. This is the father of the BTL scholarship program."

Channel 5

Orange Walk Pastor being sought for alleged sex crimes
Orange Walk Police are tonight in search of a pastor from that municipality. They believe that he can help them get to the bottom of a sinister plot involving the [...]

Residents say young women visit the pastor everyday
This morning, News Five also spoke to residents in the area of the Zion Ministries Assemblies of God Church in Orange Walk Town. They told us off camera that almost [...]

Chinese businessman detained following Wednesday night shooting in Orange Walk
A Chinese businessman from San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District has been detained after a shooting on Wednesday night. Reports are that at around six p.m. three men [...]

Belize City Council prepares to receive newly renovated Memorial Park
The restoration of Memorial Park, a massive undertaking spearheaded by the Sustainable Tourism Project, through the Belize Tourism Board, has been completed after months of painstaking labor.  The newly renovated [...]

Bust of Antonio Soberanis adopted for the Battlefield Park
Meanwhile, in the downtown area, finishing touches are being added to Battlefield Park, having undergone a much needed sprucing up recently.  To complete the face-lift, City Hall is in discussion [...]

See Ability in Disability; State of the World’s Children’s Report
UNICEF Belize and its partners, BCVI and CARE Belize today officially launched its Situation Analysis of Children with Disabilities and the Situation Analysis of Blind and Visually Impaired Children. Also [...]

14 deserving students received scholarships
Fourteen high school and sixth form students were today awarded opportunities to pursue secondary and tertiary education through B.T.L.’s scholarship program.  The twenty-second annual Scholarship Award Ceremony was held at [...]

Hair braider taken to court after she assaults a cop
A Belize City hair braider, whom police say assaulted one of their own, was before the court this morning to answer to three criminal offenses.  Forty-three-year-old Carol Wade, of Dolphin [...]

Fishermen charged with taking conch during closed season
A pair of Belize City fishermen, caught in the act of harvesting conch from Southern Long Caye on Wednesday, by a team of fisheries officers, was before the court today [...]

She escaped stabbing charges, but will be deported to Honduras
A Honduran woman, who was picked up by police in relation to a stabbing incident during which her husband was stabbed in Belize City over the weekend, may have escaped [...]

Diabetes Association receives much needed donation
The Belize Diabetes Association today received twenty thousand dollars in medicine for patients in need of podiatric care.  The donation was given by Harvest Ministry, a Belizean-led religious organization operating [...]

Belizean delegation wows audience at CARIFESTA 2013
Belize is being represented to the fullest in the 2013 CARIFESTA in Paramaribo, Suriname.  Despite being the smallest delegation; the jewel is showcasing Belize at its best in music, dance, [...]

Update on Belize Teams in International Sport Outings
Aside from the Belize delegation in Suriname that has been making a name for the country in its cultural and artistic form, two junior teams are representing Belize internationally in [...]

Healthy Living: the serious problem of prostate and men.
Men don’t access healthcare as often as women do. Problems with the prostate are common with aging men. Prostate cancer is one of the top cancers affecting men in Belize. [...]


Former PUP Standard Bearer Seeks Reinstallment
The rumor has been circulating for the past few weeks that former PUP heavyweight, Cordel Hyde, might be going back to the party. But while talk of it was running rampant, there has been nothing to substantiate that claim – that is until today when PUP Chairman, Henry Usher, told Love News exclusively in an interview that Cordel Hyde is as good as in with the PUP, minus a few final loose ends that the two sides are typing up. Henry Usher, Chairman, PUP “I don’t believe that Cordel ever left the PUP; so, it’s not a matter of him coming back; it’s just a matter of him offering himself again as the standard bearer for the Lake Independence constituency. It’s a decision that has to be made by the majority of the party, of the National Executive and it would be taken to the National Party Council as well. Personally, I welcome back Cordel, he is a friend of mine; he has reasons why he didn’t run in the last election. He and I have spoken on a few occasions and I understand his reasoning; I don’t have any problem with him attempting to come back but it is a decision for the people of Lake Independence and in particular, the PUP supporters of the Lake Independence area to make.”

Senator of Mississippi Visits Belize
US Senator, Robert Jackson is in Belize but his short visit has little to do with political or diplomatic business. He was invited by the Belize Credit Union League through Cynthia Ellis Topsy, who is his friend. Jackson, who is a former Chief Executive Officer of a credit union back home in Mississippi, was invited to speak to his fellow colleagues in the credit union movement. Love News was there for his presentation today and this is what he had to say. US SENATOR ROBERT JACKSON “Some of the things that we are doing in Mississippi right now is trying to teach our people how to grow their own foods; we are trying to get people into their own homes where they can live better lives; have them get their own vehicle so they can get to and from work and it’s all so they can get an opportunity to go higher in terms of government. I am one of 52 state senators in the state of Mississippi and I have an opportunity to talk more about community based development, gardening, cooperatives and all those things that help our people in need at the lowest level; that’s provided me an opportunity to grow and to learn.” Executive Director of the Belize Credit Union League, Coreen Robinson Fuller, told Love News that the Senator’s visit became a reality because of one local activist.

Chinese Grocer Detained For Allegedly Shooting Customer
Orange Walk Police are investigating a shooting incident that landed one man in the hospital. The incident happened around 6:30 Wednesday evening at a local shop owned by a Chinese man. Reports are that three Hispanic men had stopped at the shop which bares that very name, “Shop” to have some beers. It was nothing out of the norm until neighbours heard a single gunshot. One neighbour who wished to remain anonymous told us what she heard. WITNESS 1 “We just heard that they were pounding on the door and we heard the proprietor talking; they were hitting the door as though they wanted to tear it down; then we heard a shot but I did not come out because I was afraid.” A second neighbour rushed out after hearing the shot and told us what she saw. WITNESS 2 “It was just one shot and we came out and immediately we saw from an angle, a truck was taking off in speed but it backed up because one of the three men was left behind but when they backed up we noticed that one of the men was injured and they changed driver. They then changed direction because at first they were headed towards Corozal. A police patrol was coming and we told them that one man was injured in the truck that just left and we thought they would follow it. We immediately thought that it was an attempted robbery of the Chinese man. We also checked the license plates of the truck but we noticed it didn’t have one on the front or on the back.”

Pastor Eludes Church Elders After Soliciting Sexual Favors from Congregation
Strong accusations are being made against a former pastor in Orange Walk Town. The accusations are from obtaining property by deception, theft to sexual harassment. Interestingly no formal report has been made to the authorities. Arturo Cantun reports from Orange Walk. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “Little by little more members of the Orange Walk community have come forward to present allegations against the former pastor of the Ministerios Zion Central Assemblies of God Church on Aurora Street. They are mostly women who allege the former pastor offered to take them to the USA, promising them a job. All they had to do was to pay $200 and give a copy of their passport. Being a pastor they trusted him. Alma Daniels told us her experience. ALMA DANIELS “Yes, he offered me to go to the states to work and to have a better life and he said that the condition is to pay two hundred dollars per person and the job was going to be for five and a half months.” LOCAL REPORTER “Did he show you anyone he has taken before?” ALMA DANIELS “No, he said that he was going to form a new group in Orange Walk because the groups he took already were from PG and so he cannot show anybody that has gone already on this trip.”

Neighbourhood Watch Detains Duo Who Allegedly Assaulted An Elderly Man
Following the brutal attack on 78 year old Onofre Sabido on Sunday afternoon on Tuesday two men were charged for that offense. They are 27 year old Najirie Quiroja and 18 year old Edwin Cruz. Both men pleaded not guilty for the offense of aggravated assault and robbery. They were offered bail of three thousand dollars plus a surety of the same amount which they were able to meet saving them from being sent to the Central Prison. The incident occurred on Sunday evening in San Jose Nuevo Palmar around3:30pm. Onofre Sabido, an elderly man confined to a wheel chair was home alone when the men paid him a visit inquiring if he wants to purchase glass pints. But before they left they attacked the elderly man, hitting him with a pint bottle on the forehead and hitting him on the stomach. They proceeded to steal 464 dollars and left the elderly man for dead. After hearing the cries for help some neighbors came to assist. The active village neighborhood watch detained the men and handed them to police. The men are to reappear in court on October 22. 2013.

Police Sergeant Trains Cadet to Help Elderly
Hubert Bowen is an eighty six year old man who resides in the Lake Independence Area of Belize City. Today Mr. Bowen was blessed to receive help from the Mahogany Police Cadet, who came to his small home to give it a facelift. Sergeant Brent Hamilton is the Officer in Charge of the Mahogany Street Sub Precinct and is also in charge of the Police Cadet for that area, said that they decided to extend a hand to Bowen because he is known in the community but they when they visited his home they realized it was not fit to house a senior citizen SGT. BRENT HAMILTON, OC, Mahogany Sub-Precinct I decided that I will team up with some business persons of the community along with the cadets who donated canned food to give to Mr. Bowman. We had Belize Foam Factory who gave a mattress, Mr. Grinage gave a bed, Mr. Hyde gave the linoleum and different people came and gave to Mr. Bowman along with myself and the cadets.” And so it was a day full of activity today as Bowen’s little home got a makeover and so did his yard SGT. BRENT HAMILTON, OC, Mahogany Sub-Precinct “What we are doing right now is that we are painting inside the house trying to revamp the house to make him feel comfortable. I have teamed up with some other members of the community and we have decided that every month or every week, we along with the cadets will come and do something helpful for Mr. Bowen; whether it’s chopping the yard or bringing a food hamper for him; we are adopting him as our great father.”

Bakery Employer Arraigned for Failure to Make Social Security Contributions
Forty-three year old Chinese businessman Zi Hui He, the owner of Jackie’s Bakery, located at mile 8 on George Price Highway, was charged with failure to produce records to Social Security Board when he appeared in court today. He pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until October 16. The allegation is that he failed to produce records for the period January 2010 to March 2013 for persons employed at his bakery for whom he has not paid social security contributions.

Court Deports Woman to Honduras Following Domestic Disturbance
Twenty-four year old Wendy Ardon, a Honduran woman who entered Belize illegally, said she was forced to come to Belize when she appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and pled guilty to illegal entry. She told Magistrate Cayetano that the men who took her across the Mopan River into Belize, told her that if she did not cooperate they would incarcerate her. She said the men took her to a bar in Orange Walk and made her work without paying her. She said she ran away and came to Belize City where she met a man who became her common-law husband, but their relationship came to a halt when he began to physically abuse her. It was as a result of this abuse that she landed in the hands of the police who found that she was in Belize illegally. The police handed her over to immigration authorities who deemed her a prohibited immigrant and brought her to court. After hearing her story, Magistrate Cayetano fined her one thousand dollars and signed a removal order for her to be deported to Honduras.

Fourteen Scholarships Awarded by Belize Telemedia Limited
For the twenty second year in a row, Belize Telemedia Limited has given the opportunity to fourteen outstanding students who have qualified for full scholarships to attend the school of their choice. This year the BTL Scholarship Committee, comprising of a cross-section of company employees had the difficult task of selecting thirteen of the most deserving applicants from across the country and one student who was awarded a sixth form scholarships. Love News spoke to BTL’s Senior Public Relations Officer, Michael Augustus and Customer Service Manager, Doctor Dionne Miranda, more about the initiative. MICHAEL AUGUSTUS, Senior PR Officer, BTL “We sent out over two thousand five hundred application forms to school and we also had them at our district officers countrywide; students then filled the forms and sent them in with all the necessary requirements that were placed on the form. We received almost five hundred applications this year; the committee was then selected and the committee went through all the application forms and they were narrowed down to sixty applications; we invited those sixty in for an interview and we looked at their academic performance for standards four, five and six along with the PSE score along with their need; based on that the committee did the week of interview and came up with the fourteen students that we were looking for. It covers tuition, books and fees for four years of secondary school and this year we have a junior college student who was awarded one and we covered books, tuition and fees for two years.”

Commonwealth of Learning Sponsors Open School Initiative in Belize
The University of Belize is supporting Gwen Lizarraga High School in the launch of the first ever Open School in Belize. The vision of the initiative is for the current Evening Division of Gwen Lizaragga High School to be converted into an Open School that offers courses and programs to meet the needs of adults and out of school youth. Initially over 125 women and men will benefit from the use of innovative technology while pursuing a Secondary School Diploma. Education Specialist with responsibility for Open Schooling at the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver, Canada, Frances Ferriera is in Belize this week to work with administration and teachers at Gwen Lizaragga and administrators at the University as they begin the process of establishing the Open School. She is training instructors at Gwen Lizarraga Evening Division on how to use Open Educational Resources and innovative technology to enhance instructional practices; identify resources and support to effectively use technology to motivate students to develop requisite skills and competencies; and identify policies to govern Open Schooling in Belize. This initiative sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning and supported by the University of Belize will form the basis for the development of Open Schools country-wide and for the development of the University of Belize Open and Distance Learning Unit. The official launch will take place tomorrow.


First It Was Football Now Belize Shines In The Sport Of Volleyball
The Belize Under Fifteen male football will be returning from the Cayman Islands on Monday after a spectacular tournament that saw them barely edged out with Guatemala’s one to nothing...

Councillor And Area Representative Join Hands For Summer Camp
Children of the Orange Walk East Constituency are currently taking part in the third annual Louisiana and Belize Road Summer Camp held at the Solomon’s Seventh Day Adventist School. The...

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Study Launched In Corozal
During the summer of 2012, The National Aids Commission and the Country Coordinating Mechanism of Corozal Committee applied to the US Embassy for a grant in efforts of conducting a...

Fisheries Department To Meet With Stakeholders Of The Industry
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about the National Road Safety Committee which is being set up to look after the infrastructural integrity of our major highways, the Belize...

CDB And GOB To Launch National Road Safety Committee
The two major highways in Belize have borne witness too many fatal and serious traffic accidents throughout their existence. The newly renamed Phillip Goldson Highway and George Price Highway have,...

Orange Walk Teacher Commits Suicide
Tonight, we are saddened to report the untimely death of the son of a prominent teacher and principal of Orange Walk Town. Last night, Orange Walk Police were called to...

Chinese Business Man Detained For Shooting An Alleged Burglar
A resident of a Santa Rita Layout address in Corozal Town spent the night at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town last night suffering from a gunshot wound...


FECTAB opposes NCL development at Harvest Caye
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) is a grassroots organization which has been on the frontline of the daily battles within the cruise tourism industry. They have previously been critical of foreign investors with an outsize agenda coming to Belize and “taking over” from...

FECTAB comments on Stake Bank project
While there has been much talk about Harvest Caye, the $200 million investment in Stake Bank east of Belize City has been meandering along. Should it come to fruition, will that change the ballgame for cruise interests in Belize City who are worried about losing their customers to the...

Government holds off demand for tax arrears of BISL
Belize International Services Limited (BISL) lost control of the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) and International Business Companies Registries in June when the Government moved to take them. At that time, GOB charged that the company owed 22 years of taxes adding up to $30 million dollars. BISL charged...

SATIIM decides to go to trial over oil company drilling
After weeks of lobbying, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) packed the court with Toledo District alcaldes and supporters for the first leg of its latest legal battle with the Government of Belize. They wanted an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from proceeding with plans to...

Eamon Courtenay outlines SATIIM’s case against Government and US Capital Energy
There is much interest in the case filed by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) against the Government and US Capital Energy. SATIIM attorney Eamon Courtenay outlines his client’s case. Eamon Courtenay – Attorney for Claimants: The primary argument is that the National Park systems Act does...

Man dies after falling off ladder
A Belize City man has passed away after falling off a ladder, fatally puncturing his lung. The wife of 65 year old Charles Emmel, a retired American, told Police that her husband left home on the morning of August 17 and almost three hours later, she received a telephone...

PUP criticizes PM and Cabinet for their stance on proposed PAC reform
The long-dormant Public Accounts Committee has been thrust under the microscope by Chairman and PUP Deputy Leader the Hon. Julius Espat. Espat called for a restructuring of the committee, which presently is comprised of four representatives from the UDP and two from the Opposition. The proposed reform would allow...

Cordel Hyde could possibly return to the PUP
Speculation has been rampant that former three-term Lake Independence area representative Cordel Hyde is close to a possible return to the People’s United Party. Mr Hyde was kicked out of the People’s United Party (PUP), along with brother-in-law Mark Espat, after the PUP narrowly lost the 2012 general elections,...

OCEANA search for new VP
Thursday, August 21, will be Audrey Matura Shepherd’s final day as Vice-President of OCEANA in Belize. On Wednesday she briefed the media on the search for a replacement while in her final act in the role, launching a new educational website, According to Ms Matura Shepherd, 2 members...

Niccanor Fermin will serve 18 years in prison for sexual abuse
41 year-old Niccanor Fermin was sentenced to 64 years in prison on Friday, though he will only serve 18 of those years. That sentence was handed down by Justice Troadio Gonzalez after Mr Fermin was convicted on 6 counts of carnal knowledge. This was as a result of the...

Jaguar Cubs defeat Grenada
On Tuesday night the “Jaguar Cubs,” Belize’s U-15 men’s football team, played big and knocked off opponents Grenada 6 goals to 1, concluding what is according to the CONCACAF website an “impressive” participation in the U-15 Championship in Grand Cayman Island. They needed a big score and a Jamaica...

Belize Female National Volleyball Team beats competition in Honduras
The Female’s National Volleyball Team is not unheard of in Belize. They have often competed and won in various different tournaments outside of the country; and not once have they failed to represent. This week the ladies are at it again...

Galen University held its summer 2013 commencement exercise
Galen University held its summer 2013 commencement exercise. The institution was founded in September of 2003 with an initial intake of 14 students. As an independent university chartered by the Government of Belize, Galen has grown its student population to around 500 in Fall 0f 2012. And this past...

Belize Cycling Association hosted their Annual King of the Hills Race
This past Sunday the streets of San Ignacio were flooded with ecstatic cycling fans cheering on their favourite team. This was all as a result of the Belize Cycling Association hosting their Annual King of the Hills race. Our Western Correspondent got to speak with one of the officials...

The Guardian

PUP Political Brawl in Belmopan
There is a storm brewing in Belmopan within the People’s United Party where contestants for their convention in that division are crawling out of the woodwork. In Mid July Jason Andrews showed his true colors and declared that he would be contesting the Belmopan constituency. He even produced a picture showing Amin Hegar shaking his hand. Shortly thereafter Julius Espat claimed to have been able to solidify the deal where Hegar would support Andrews. And the picture did seem to be convincing with both Andrews and Hegar sharing a charming smile. But PUP politicos are vipers and there was not time enough for Andrews’ seat to cool off on Plus TV when Hegar announced that he actually was not supporting him for the Belmopan constituency. He has boldly declared that he will shake anyone’s hand and take pictures with them. This is the kind of man Hegar is.

Office of the Prime Minister Takes a Position on PAC- Julius needs to work!
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) announces that the Cabinet of Belize has carefully noted the positions taken by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives. Cabinet considered the call of both bodies for the PAC to be converted into a Special Joint Select Committee of the House and Senate, and for that new Select Committee to comprise a membership that would include all three social partner Senators. Cabinet remains convinced that such a proposal is fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House. The radical and serial amendments of the Standing Orders that would be required for the transformation of the current PAC into the creature envisaged by the BCCI and NTUCB would render the proceedings of the new Committee both expensive and impractical. For all three social partners, the Opposition, and the Government to be on the proposed new body; and for the fundamental Standing Orders principle of Democracy, which requires the Government to be the majority on all Standing Committees, to be maintained, would result in an unwieldy and top heavy Committee and greatly ratchet up the costs associated with Committee hearings. Cabinet cannot, therefore, agree with such a proposal.

Commerce Bight back to the People
It has been quite a while in the making but sure enough, the Commerce Bight Port is back in the hands of Belizeans. The Government of Belize made the announcement last week Friday, August 16th. In a release by the Ministry of Works stated that an order was signed by the Minister of Works revoking a lease granted to the Port of Belize Limited to operate and manage the Commerce Bight Port. It added that arrangements were being made to take possession and control of the Port. Three main factors were stated as being reasons for the repossession of the port. The first was that the Port of Belize Limited had failed to submit a development plan to carry out any development work on the facilities. Secondly, the company failed to operate and manage as well as to do maintenance work on the facility including the dredging of the channel and the dock basin. Thirdly PBL had failed to pay lease rental to the Government.

Orange Walk Businessman to Prison for Driving into Police Officer
David Carillo, 50-year-old businessman of Trial Farm Village, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a motor vehicle in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, August 20th. Carillo was unrepresented in court when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to face allegations that he ran a checkpoint and drove into a police officer on Monday, August 19th. According to police, sometime between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, police officers were conducting a checkpoint in front of the Hattieville Police Station. Police Constable Yann Chinn was standing in front of a BTL vehicle when a white Grand Marquis cut the line and drove through the checkpoint into PC Chinn who narrowly escaped being hit by jumping out the way. The vehicle was pursued by a police mobile attached to the station and it eventually stopped. The driver was identified as David Carillo. In court Carillo said, “My mind suddenly went blank - couple minutes later I realized that I was about to hit the vehicle so I swerved into the drain to avoid hitting the vehicle. It was never my intention to hit the officer.” He pleaded guilty to the offense and was sentenced to 1 year in prison.

Two Teenagers Charged for Stealing Samsung Galaxy
Two teenagers are out on bail after they were accused of stealing a Samsung Galaxy cellphone valued at $1,000. 18-year-old Troy Augustus of #63 West Street and a 17-year-old minor of Belize City appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino on Tuesday, August 20th, to face charges of theft, handling stolen goods and conspiracy to theft. On Friday, August 16th, they allegedly stole a blue and grey Samsung Galaxy phone from Tran Nguyen. In court both teenagers pleaded not guilty to the charges. Augustus was offered bail in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety of the same amount and the minor was handed over into the care of his aunt who is responsible to make sure he returns to court. The accused are due back in court on October 8th.

Police News from Cayo
At about 8:00 P.M. on Monday of this week, residents in Santa Elena Town, Cayo were startled by several loud bursts in rapid succession coming from an unidentified area. At first everyone thought that they were coming from large fire crackers but on closer inspection 13 nine mm expended shells and one live round of a 9 mm S& B Brand ammunition was found on the ground near to the former Greedy’s Pizza location, near the La Loma Luz Hospital in the Red Creek Section of Santa Elena Town. The location of the shooting was abandoned a few years ago after a daylight invasion. It is an abandoned lot with a large open building, adorned with curved architecture in a poorly lit area and serves as a perfect hiding place for criminals to pounce on their victims.

Female Police Officer Charged with Extortion
A woman police constable attached to the Caye Caulker Police Station, 36-year-old Jennie Tanner, was taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 16th, to face an extortion charge. Christopher John Graham is accusing the officer of intimidating him and demanding $100 in cash and two margarita drinks from him on December 11th, 2012.

Niccanor Fermin Convicted of Carnal Knowledge of 9-year-old
Niccanor Fermin, 41 years of age, has been convicted of six sexual offenses and will serve as much as 18 years in prison. On February 4th, 2010 a girl was accompanied by an adult when she visited the Family Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department and reported that Fermin had been having sex with her since July of 2004 when she was only 9 years old.

Garfield Flowers and Kenroy Vanzie Charged with Burglary
34-year-old Garfield Flowers of #9 Johnson Street and 31-year-old Kenroy Vanzie of #63 Central American Boulevard appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, August 19th, to answer to a charge of burglary. They are two of three men who allegedly entered the business place of Muriel Jones on Poinsetta Street around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, August 16th, and ordered breakfast. One of the men then turned to another customer in the shop, Lincoln Hamilton, and demanded money. He punched Hamilton in the face and the trio rushed from the area. The incident was reported to police, and Flowers and Vanzie, whose faces are familiar to Jones, were later arrested.

Lennox Stevens Charged for Assaulting Police Officer
Lennox Stevens, 29 years of age, was arrested and charged for assaulting and using insulting words towards an on duty police officer. According to reports, a mobile unit was on patrol in Belize City on Saturday, August 17th, and upon passing Shell One Stop gas station Stevens approached Special Constable Gerald Smith. He was angry about an old robbery case that he was accused of being involved with and he cursed out Smith. Smith instructed him to leave the area but he continued the verbal assault and the officer decided to approach him. Stevens started to run and Smith chased him down. When he caught up with him, a struggle ensued and Stevens punched Smith in the chest. Other officers assisted and they managed to restrain Stevens. He was taken to the Raccoon Street Police Station but was released on police bail on Sunday, August 18th.

Edward Neal Charged for Stealing Car Battery
Belize City Electrician, 34-year-old , Edward Neal, is out on bail after he was arrested for allegedly stealing a car battery from Errol Garbutt’s car on Wednesday, August 14th.

Salvadoran Man Busted with 85 Pounds of Weed
Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit executed a search of #5 Princess Margaret Drive early on Friday morning, August 16th, at 1 a.m. Upon their arrival at the residence, Corporal Mark Martinez knocked on the gate but got no reply. They then entered the yard and went to the second floor of the building. The officers knocked on the door of 44-year-old Jeremias Pichinte, Salvadoran with permanent residence status. They got no answer but the door was open and the officers entered to execute a search for drugs and ammunition. That was when they found Pichinte holding a black plastic bag in his hand. Pichente ran and threw the black plastic bag over the fence of an adjacent yard. According to Cpl. Martinez, he chased and detained the man then took him to retrieve the bag and open it in his presence. The bag contained a green leafy substances suspected to be cannabis. Inside the house, the officers found a second black plastic bag which contained a green leafy substance. Pichinte and the two bags were escorted to the Queen Street Police Station where both bags were weighed in his presence. The first bag contained 33 ˝ pounds of cannabis while the second bag contained 52 pounds of cannabis. Pichinte was charged with drug trafficking.

Carolee Rhaburn Busted with Gun and Drugs on George Street
Police Officers were on George Street around 11:50 a.m. on Friday, August 16th, when their attention was drawn to a woman walking on the street. They approached and she identified herself as 39-year-old Carolee Jean Rhaburn of an Antelope Street address. Police searched a purse she was carrying and found a bag containing 72 grams of weed. They also searched a shoebox she had and found a .38 revolver with three live rounds of ammunition. Rhaburn was arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station where she was charged.

Teenage Boy in Jail for Sex with Teenage Girlfriend
18-year-old Evyn Ardon Pena is in jail after he was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge of his girlfriend. Pena allegedly had four sexual encounters with his girlfriend between March 10 and August 14th of this year. The first incident took place when the girl was 13 years 10 months and 16 days and the last encounter was at the age of 14 years 3 months and 21 days. Pena appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino on Friday, August 16th, where he was arraigned for four counts of unlawful carnal knowledge. Due to the fact that the charges are indictable offenses, no plea was taken in court and bail could not be granted. Pena is remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on October 28. His family will apply for bail at the Supreme Court.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Donates $651,725 USD to GOB Tilapia Project
Hon. Gaspar Vega and H.E. David Wu and Presentation of donation On Tuesday, August 20th the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated $651,725 USD to the Ministry of Agriculture for the GOB-ROC (Taiwan) Aquaculture Project.

Is Cordel Returning To Remove The Malignant Tumors?
In the issuance of condemnation of the highest order against the Musa/Fonseca maladministration which was rightfully booted out of office in February 2008, it was neither the United Democratic Party nor its Leader, the Hon. Dean Barrow, but rather the brightest legal minds in the region, sitting on the bench in the Caribbean Court of Justice, who referred to the actions of the current leader of the opposition and his colleague, the former prime minister, as “malignant tumours that eat at democracy. No court can afford to encourage the spread of such cancer”, said the CCJ.

Kevin Bernard Squeezes the small Man
Mayor of Orange Walk town, Kevin Bernard, has announced that he will be increasing the fees for car dealers to sell at the Central Park in Orange Walk town. Needless to say the announcement has been met with great disdain by those who are being affected by the announcement. Car dealers are currently paying $10 dollars a month for them to sell their vehicles at the park, now the mayor is arbitrarily raising that price to $30. The salesmen are more upset since there is absolutely no justification for the increase in the fees. Some comment that there has been nothing done to improve the facilities yet the mayor is gouging their eyes out.

Belizeans Feel Safer as Murders Decrease by 25%
The Government’s employment programs in major municipalities across the country and the precinct policing strategy being executed by the Belize Police Department has resulted in a significant reduction in crime. The Belize Police Department recently released the major crime statistics for the first seven months of 2013 and it shows that major crimes have been reduced by over 12 percent.

Audrey’s goodbye
Audrey Matura-Shepard will be moving on after serving 4years and 4 months as the Vice President of Oceana in Belize. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, August 20th, Shepard explained that she will officially be leaving the office on Thursday, August 22nd. She explained that she will now be pursuing her law profession, in particular she expects to be practicing constitutional, family and criminal law.

Countrywide Workshops on Belize’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Underway
A two-day workshop on Belize’s Intangible Cultural Heritage ended on August 16, 2013 at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio Town. In attendance were librarians, artists and craft persons interested in enhancing Belize’s cultural life.

Denny Grijalva sponsors sports in Orange Walk Central
UDP caretaker for Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva is dedicated to the people of the constituency he represents, and he demonstrates this dedication through many avenues. One of these avenues is the promotion of healthy lifestyles through sports. Denny explained to The Guardian that he has a passion for sports that spans even before his political journey began and he is still committed to his community through this medium. It was for this reason that Grijalva played a crucial role at organizing the Mundialito championship games in Orange Walk Central where he offered the first prize.

United Garifuna Association Inc Response to NCL Proposal
The United Garifuna Association Inc (UGA) has been aware of the NCL proposal for Harvest Caye since the news first broke in the media. UGA was able to obtain a copy of the MOU between the Government of Belize and NCL. We are aware that IDEA Inc of Orlando Fl is the company charged with bringing the concept through to fruition for NCL.

The Mad Ranger
If there is any individual that can be relied upon to be present at any and all demonstrations, it is Patrick Menzies. He has been involved in all manner of pointless walks, protests, and demonstrations. He's been there with the COLA, he's been there with the BBOC, he's been there with the now defunct Purple Movement, he's been there against a medical school, he's been against U.B. School Fees, he's been fired from U.B., and he's been on the Jasmine alert program. He apparently is everywhere and goes nowhere.

Belize Successfully Navigating Through Troubled Waters
It is not the United Democratic Party telling the world that Fonseca and Musa are bad for Belize, but rather it is the most brilliant legal minds in the region, the Caribbean Court of Justice, describing the actions of the shameless duo as “Malignant Tumors”.

New teaching website by Oceana
Oceana Belize launched a new website on Tuesday, August 20th. In her last capacity as the Vice President of the organization, Audrey Matura-Shepard explained that the website is called T.A. Belize. Located at the url,, the site is designed to provide teachers and the general public with all manner of information from global warming to coral reefs. According to Shepard, the site is packed with teaching materials, modules and activities which is geared at providing information for primary and secondary school teachers to use as teaching aids as well as for students to do research.

Eastern Zone and Coastal Sub-Formation Win Police Minister’s Monthly Awards for Greatest Reduction in Major Crimes in July 2013
The Coastal Sub-formation, which includes Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker and falls under the Eastern Zone, has recorded the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of July. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, today presented a Cheque for $1,000 to Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who heads the Eastern Zone, and will be presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Superintendent Luis Castellanos who heads the Coastal Sub-formation.

Prime Minister Barrow Welcomes Revocation of Commerce Bight Lease
Prime Minister Barrow has welcomed the decision of the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero, to revoke the lease of Commerce Bight Port.

Stann Creek DAVCO elected
On Saturday, August 17th, 2013, the newly elected Village Councils of the Stann Creek District met at the Independence High School, in Independence Village, where they conducted their Annual General Meeting. At the meeting the villages elected new representatives to the District Association of Village Councils for Stann Creek.

School Leaders Meet in Cayo
Various leaders from Belize's Education Sector met for a learning session on August 16th at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio Town. Present were Principals, Vice Principals, Local Managers and Heads of Departments from various high schools. Also present to give an overview of the Belize Teaching Services Commission was Christopher Aird, Chief Education Officer. Aird made it clear to teachers that the possession of a teaching license was now an important part to teaching.

Curtain Falling on Gonzalez and McFoy
The Christian Workers Union will hold an Annual General Meeting on October 26th and a new President will be elected. The announcement came after a general meeting at the Labour Office on Monday, August 10th, which was attended by representatives of all affiliated associations of the CWU. After the meeting among members, Antonio Gonzalez, President of the CWU, announced to the press, “There will be an AGM, or what we call a congress- a convention, come the twenty-sixth of October and there will be financially audited statements before that so that it is taken up to the convention.”

ABORTION ! - Thou shalt not kill. Thou shall not leave the innocent to suffer!
Abortion! A cliché topic, every woman and man in this world knows a little about. It can happen naturally or induced to a mother, a girlfriend, a wife, a friend or a sister. In whatever case, no case of abortion is a nice one; since the body not only takes on a physical turmoil but also an emotional one. My questions are thou, how do we feel about abortions? Should we be against it or should we just allow every individual to use their own discretion and human right to decide what they want to do with their bodies? Should it be legalized? Should a person have a child if their life is at risk, if the child was conceived of rape or if the parent simply just cannot maintain it? The bible condemns abortions. Under the Ten Commandments it states boldly ONE SHALL NOT KILL. So we will not kill but we will let live in horrible circumstances. Some people would tell you they would have been better off dead than born. Some would say anything is better than death. Many say life over death anytime though they have never been in the situation. Living in cardboard houses, being abused by a stepfather as a child, having nothing to live for but suffering. Is that really life? Why does the mother not have a choice over her body? Why bring a child into the world when deep down inside she knows the baby will without a doubt suffer?

For Protest’s Sake
If you are a devoted fan of the evening news as I am, you will have noticed the extraordinary amount of protests being staged in our country these days. These protests did get highly emotional at times; especially the one where Ms. Matura gave a Fidel Castro-length speech and flung the gender policy booklet to the ground, and the other where an effigy was burnt in Toledo. I repeat; things were getting a bit emotional, but, to me, entertaining nevertheless. In fact, it gives me something to write about this week. As usual, I invite you to join me in exploring a little deeper into the genesis of these protests. Most of us will acknowledge that when a protest is staged, regardless of the issues, there will be genuine organizers and participants in attendance who truly believe in their cause. We have to give these people our respect and our ears; they are the ones who truly strive to ventilate their concerns on issues they perceive to be wrong. I actually can identify with this class of protestors since it keeps our young democracy alive and kicking.

Guardian Bombers lead in male softball competition
The 2013 Belize City Softball Association Smart Male competition continued on Monday, August 19, at Rogers Stadium between Guardian Bombers and Belikin Stout. The Guardian Bombers blasted Belikin Stout by the score of 13-2 in six innings. Guardian Bombers scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st inning, added another 10 runs in the top of the 6th inning that cemented the victory for it. Guardian pounded the pitching of Roy Briceńo for 9 hits which included a 3 run home run by pitcher Milton Flores in the top of the 1st inning, and a 2 run home run by shortstop Alex Flores in the top of the 6th inning. The winning pitcher for the Guardian Bombers was Milton Flores (3-0) who struck out 12 Belikin Stout batters in the game. Flores also scattered 1 hit in the game. The losing pitcher for Belikin Stout was Roy Briceńo.

Atlantic and Belize Banks lead in Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Firms Competition for 2013 continued on Saturday, August 18th, with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, BWSL defeated PUC by the score of 58-52. The top scorers for BWSL were Lindbergh Graham with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1, assist and 2 steals, and Jamir Enriquez with 12 points and 2 rebounds. For PUC, the top scorers were Ian Haylock with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist and Andrew Roberteau with 10 points, 9 rebounds and an assist. In game two, Port of Belize defeated Courts by the score of 76-67. The top scorers for Port of Belize were Lennox Bowman with 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists and Vince Estrada with 29 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Courts were Rennon Pandy with 20 points, 8 rebounds, an assist and a steal and Delroy Caliz with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal

Belize Cycling Association National Elections set
The Interim Committee of the Belize Cycling Association is pleased to inform the general populace that the Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association has confirmed that the elections for the Belize Cycling Association’s National Executive has been scheduled for Saturday, August 24th, 2013 at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive commencing at 2:00 pm. The elections will be conducted by the Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.

Geovanni Choto crowned King of the Hills
The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with the Belikin Western Spirit Cycling Team, and the Belize Cycling Association Western Zone held the annual King of the Hills Cycling Meet on Sunday August 18, 2013. The event which attracted some 44 riders concluded with 33 riders finishing the course. At the end of some 1:2:22 Geovanni Choto of Belikin Western Spirit Cycling Club was the first rider to cross the finish line and as a result was crowned King of the Hills. The second rider to cross the finish line was Delon Gentle of BECOL Uprising Cycling Team. He was then followed by Giovanni Lovell of Telemedia Cycling, and then by Nissan Arana of Depredadores and he was then followed by Donizetti Vasquez also of Depredadores. The other top finishers were Daniel Choto of Daniel Choto of Belikin Western Spirit Cycling, Walter Silva of Tinidustrial, Henry Moreria unattached, Shane Vasquez of Belikin Western Spirit Cycling Club, and Peter Choto also of Belikin Western Spirit Cycling Club to round off the top ten finishers in the 1st Annual King of the Hills Cycling Race.

Junior Footballers win three games in CONCACAF tournament
The National U-15 Football Team of Belize who participated in the ongoing CONCACAF U-15 Football Championship in Grand Cayman, Cayman Island, captured 3 wins and suffered only 1 defeat in this tournament.

Vega’s Cup Tournament rolls on in the North
The 2013 Edition of the Vega’s Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, August 18 out at the Trial Farm Football Field. There were four games on the schedule. In the first game played, San Luis FC defeated Untouchables FC by the score of 3-2. The goals for San Luis FC were scored by Geovanni Marin in the 10th minute of play, Alberto Coh in the 44th minute of play, and Nelson Fortunato in the 84th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goals for Untouchables were scored by Felipe Magana in the 20th and 39th minutes of play. In game two, AC Aliari FC blasted San Pablo Youngstars by the score of 5-2. The goals for Aliari FC were scored by Gadiel Samos in the 27th and 44th minute of play, Jose Castellanos in the 38th minute of play, and Teodoro Chan in the 70th and 75th minute of play. For San Pablo Youngstars, the goals were scored by Eric Arcurio in the 9th and 85th minutes of play.

Belize wins two in junior girls’ volleyball tournament
The National Junior Girls’ Volleyball Team is currently in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, where it is participating in the Central American Junior Girls Volleyball Championship. On Tuesday, August 20th, 2013, Team Belize won its second game when it defeated El Salvador in three sets to one by the score of 25-18, 25-18, 21-25 and 25-23. The top scorer for Belize was Sherika Burton with 17 points, 15 kills and 2 blocks. The other scorers were Jahshema Saunders 13 points, 12 kills and 1 ace, Maurissa Williams who had 11 points, 6 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace and Leandra Betson who scored 6 points, 4 kills, 1 block and 1 ace. On Monday, August 19th, Team Belize won its first game when it defeated the host country Honduras in three sets by the score of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-20.

A Short Lifetime of Betrayal
Dwayne Jones, a sixteen year old transgender teenager, was murdered last week in Jamaica. He was beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car and died a lingering and horrific death that was witnessed by crowds of party goers. That no-one tried to stop the mob or at least call the police during his two hour ordeal is but the final act of a lifetime of betrayal. His family not only failed in their duty to protect but Dwayne’s father actually kicked him out of the house when he was just fourteen years old and encouraged a group of neighbours to drive him away from the neighbourhood where he grew up. His mother was either unable or unwilling to protect her son and so Dwayne survived on the streets as best he could. Even in death they could not forgive him for being different and refused to claim his body. The schools that Dwayne attended similarly failed him when they were unable to prevent him from being bullied for being too effeminate. No one in authority was there to help him when he dropped out of high school.


X’tan Ha Resort – Gorgeous Beach, Plenty of Belizean Charm and VERY Good Times
After a few years of being closed, the old Belize Legacy Resort was renamed , revamped and re-opened in Dec of 2012 as X’tan Ha (pronounced Ish-Tan Ha) or Mayan for “The Waterfront”. And what a waterfront it is. Just over 7 miles north of town, the resort is situated on one of the prettiest stretches of water and reef off Ambergris Caye – a snorkeling and dive spot called “Mexico Rocks”. The water is crystal clear and almost unnaturally blue. GORGEOUS.

Does “Breaking Bad” suggest that Belize is Heaven?
Writing about one of your favourite places in the world, in this case Belize, is a dual edged sword. On one hand, you receive a daily barrage of information, tips, theories, comments and information, relevant and otherwise, about a place you love. On the other hand, you wade through a daily barrage of… you get the picture. So it was no surprise to see the inbox was filled with the news that Belize was mentioned in Season 5, Episode 10 of Breaking Bad, that insanely popular television series. Being at the moment on the other side of the world from the Jewel, we don’t get to see Breaking Bad until the day after most viewers do, so it was with even more than the usual anticipation that we waited for it to air. Yes, we’ll to admit to being totally hooked and agree with most of the world that BB is a truly great creation, works on so many levels, blends high art with pop culture, etc.

“Dirty” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Really enjoying my ‘morning time’ on the veranda yesterday with my black coffee and The Times online on my iPad until I worked my way through the sports’ section. Good coverage of the latest Ashes Test Match. Fairly positive coverage of Arsenal’s victory over Fenerbaçhe. And then I came to it. Arsenal are considering re-signing Mathieu Flamini! He did a good job for the club when he was there its true. But that was five years ago and he’s suffered a lot of injuries since then. And he’s got older. I know we need players but… It was a very nice morning and it didn’t look like there was going to be any rain (all of a sudden I am a meteorologist) so I decided to wash the golf cart. A combination of where we currently park the ‘cart (close to the road) and the drive to and from our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize combine to make the ‘cart very dirty. And I mean DIRTY. Ninety minutes (amazingly long time for such a small vehicle) later though it was sparkling. After having breakfast Rose and I did a shopping trip. Normal routine. I drive the ‘cart to the various shops (we normally have to ‘hit’ a few before we have managed to get everything on the list) and then wait for Rose while she does the shopping. We take this approach so that we don’t have to lug the bags around from shop to shop. Well thats my reasoning anyway! ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť

International Sources

Belize Extends Trip To 'Breaking Bad' Cast
The tourism board of Belize was so so happy that "Breaking Bad" made a murder reference with the phrase "on a trip to Belize" that they've offered a real life trip to eight members of the cast and the show runner, Vince Gilligan. While we're pretty sure that these fine folks can afford a trip to Belize on their own, this is still pretty awesome. Good on you, Belize!

‘I’ll Send You to Belize’: Stars of ‘Breaking Bad’ Offered Free Vacations
Nothing on “Breaking Bad” is quite what it seems: a mild-mannered chemistry teacher is a powerful drug lord; a run-of-the-mill car wash is a sophisticated money-laundering operation. And a darkly comic proposal of mortal violence has led, at least, to offers of a relaxing tropical vacation for the creators and stars of this AMC drama. On Thursday, the Belize Tourism Board said that it would offer free vacations to Vince Gilligan, the “Breaking Bad” creator and show runner, and eight of its stars, including Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, following an offhand and not entirely flattering reference to that Central American nation on Sunday’s broadcast of the show. In that episode, Saul Goodman, the unsavory lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk, asks the meth-cooking kingpin Walter White (Mr. Cranston) if he has considered sending the nosy D.E.A. agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) “on a trip to Belize.” Goodman gingerly reminds White of a former colleague already said to have relocated there – White in fact murdered this person – and an incensed White replies, “I’ll send you to Belize.”

Niel debt and equity for New World Oil & Gas
New World Oil & Gas is raising $50 million in debt and equity from Niel Petroleum to support its joint venture activities in Denmark and Belize. The financing consists of Niel paying £16...

US in talks to fund security of non-US southern border of Mexico
U.S. officials confirmed that the United States and Mexico are considering a joint effort to strengthen border security with an elaborate three-tier system — along Mexico’s southern border separating it from Guatemala and Belize. The scheme would call for U.S. funding and technical support to create a security system extending up to 140 miles north of Mexico’s southern border. The system would employ electronic sensors and intelligence-gathering to halt human and drug trafficking that eventually makes its way to .the United States, according to The Washington Free Beacon. This news comes at a time when immigration reform measures are being considered in the House, and security of our own southern border is very much a part of that debate. The Free Beacon noted: According to the officials who discussed the U.S.-Mexican talks on condition of anonymity, the Mexican government proposed setting up three security cordons using electronic sensors and other security measures along the southern Mexican border, along a line some 20 miles from the southern border, and along a third security line about 140 miles from the southern Mexican territorial line.

Norwegian Cruise Line to develop eco-friendly cruise destination in Belize
IDEA Inc., a leading designer of branded ports of call and branded destinations, has been contracted by Norwegian Cruise Line to design and develop a $50 million eco-friendly cruise destination in southern Belize. “With an emphasis on indigenous local culture, this new cruise destination will tell the unique story of Belize, and set a new standard in the development of an eco-friendly destination,” said Hugh Darley, president and executive producer, IDEA Inc. “Rather than an imposed plan, we are focused on a design approach that is determined by the local environment to ensure that the unique surroundings and features of the area will be protected and showcased for all to enjoy.” Darley, an ex-Disney Imagineer, and developer of guest experiences for many leading destinations, hotels and cruise lines emphasized the need for a world class guest experience and sense of arrival at Belize. “This new port comes at the perfect time,” said Darley. “More than 600,000 passengers arrived through the port last year, and Norwegian alone is predicting passenger growth in the Western Caribbean to more than double over the next four years. For Belize to grow its tourism, an upgraded experience is necessary. This new destination will be designed to not only take pressure off the City port, but give visitors the best first impression a destination can give.”

Not All Is Good With Norwegian Cruise Lines Future Belize Port
"Our ships will be going somewhere else, unless we can figure out a way to make the experience better." Colin Murphy, Norwegians Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, following the rejection of their proposed purchase of Crawl Caye in southern Belize for development as a cruise port. TROUBLE IN PARADISE: Dirty tricks and bully boy tactics in the Tropics? Norwegian Cruise Lines announced the purchase last week of the 75 acre Harvest Caye off the coast of southern Belize, and their intention to create a cruise port and eco-friendly private island two miles south of the tiny fishing village of Placencia, along with a mainland hub for land-based tours. The project is apparently set to generate local jobs, so you could be forgiven for wondering why there is local, and very vocal, opposition. ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť ť

August 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

New gazebos at Boca del Rio Park
The Boca del Rio Park is one of the top spots where families enjoy the best San Pedro has to offer; sand, sea and beach. However, due to weather conditions, age and the constant use of its facilities, the park has deteriorated and was in need of a face lift. Picnic tables will also be constructed under the gazebo. This is being done to create a safe and comfortable recreational facility where families can enjoy the beach. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, this is only the first phase of the Boca del Rio Park rehabilitation project. “We are trying to give the people a better place to enjoy spending time with their family. My greatest concerns are education and recreation. Growing up we were very fortunate that as kids we had beautiful sandy beaches, the kids today do not have that. This will be a great place for families to spend their day,” said Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

The Republic of China, Taiwan Continuous Support to Belize
A 7-member medical delegation from the Republic of China, Taiwan visited Belize as part of a Health Project Identification Mission for nine (9) days from August 10 to 19th. The delegation was headed by President Chu Shuhsun from the Humanitarian Assistance Department of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). The primary purpose of the mission was to get a better understanding of Belize’s public health system and programs and to identify areas in which specialists could help to enhance the health care services in Belize. During their visit, the delegates held discussions with officials from the Ministry of Health and visited hospitals and clinics around the country. They were especially impressed by the mother and baby- friendly breast feeding initiatives of the Ministry of Health and by the Belize Health Information System.

Belize Delegation Participates at Caribbean Festival of Arts
Belize is currently being represented at an international event known as Carifesta in Suriname. The Caribbean Festival of Arts, commonly known as CARIFESTA, is an international multicultural event organized on a periodic basis by the countries of the Caribbean. The main purpose is to gather artists, musicians, authors, and to exhibit the folkloric and artistic manifestations of the Caribbean and Latin American region. A delegation of 35 Belizean artists of different genres is currently participating in the 11th Carifesta in Paramaribo, Suriname. It’s a large contingency consisting of dancers, craft makers, fashion designers, literary artists, visual artists and a film maker.

Letters To The Editor: Should We drill for Oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park?
Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my story titled “Should we drill for Oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park?” Belizeans have heard about many of the pros and cons of drilling for oil. Firstly, we know that Oil is “Money”. Secondly, given the dire economic stance of our country, most if not all “eyes” are on how we can make money to keep the economy properly revolving and of course, to sustain the burdensome debts accumulated over the years. Given the recent reports I have went through, oil is in “expected” commercial quantity in the Sarastoon Temash National Park. So the question is: Should we Drill? SATIIM, the organization responsible for co-managing the Sarastoon Temash National Park is ensuring that and I quote from the official website: “to safeguard the ecological integrity of the Sarstoon-Temash region and employ its resources in an environmentally sound manner for the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being of its indigenous people”. Greg Choc, who is the Founding Executive Director, has a point here. These are lands of the indigenous people: the Maya & Garifuna. SATIIM is helping to safe guard what their ancestors have relatively left for them. This park is rich with resources, which the Maya and Garifuna people “traditionally” rely on to make a living.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal residents vs. the Streets
Residents of Corozal complain on the deplorable conditions of the municipal streets and roads. If you are tired of driving and riding on these streets…So are We. Most of the schools in Corozal open the first week of September. After receiving many complaints on the conditions of the streets in our municipality, the Corozal Daily took a tour this morning of Sand Andres Road, (Mary Hill area), College Road, 6th Avenue, 2nd Street North, Altamira, Venezuela Layout, Dominguez Layout, and most of the other streets that fall under the jurisdiction of the Corozal Town Council. These are streets that fall within the town limits and upkeep is the responsibility of the Town Council. Although we saw some feeder roads being opened in the Finca Solana area, most of streets that we drove on are in a deplorable state.

Belize’s Global Cooperation Safeguards Big Cat Survival
The Belize’s jaguar sanctuary’s recent attention in international media is an important reminder to Belizeans and nature lovers everywhere of the need for international cooperation in protecting the world’s shrinking population of big cats, according to naturalist guides at Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre. Brion Young, whose work keeps him near Belize’s jaguars’ natural habitats, said he was heartened to see a feature on Belize’s jaguar protection initiatives in an August 19 2013 article in the online edition of Global Post titled, "Cockscomb Basin: Where the big cats are." "The title immediate caught my eye because the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is very special to those of us connected with the Belize Natural History Centre, not only as another adventure option we offer to Chaa Creek’s guests, but because it’s an integral part of a biological corridor that’s becoming essential to the survival of these beautiful animals, and we’re proud that Belize plays such a major role in it," Mr Young said. The Global Post feature, with the tagline, "Jaguars roam Belize’s tropical Cockscomb forest, the heart of a pioneering plan to carve a green corridor linking the big cat species across the region" describes an ambitious project to create a biological corridor across several nations, from Mexico down to Argentina, to protect the jaguars’ natural range.

The return of justice to the people of Dangriga Town and the south
On Thursday August 15, 2013, the Belize government Cabinet authorized Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero to sign an order to revoke the lease that was granted to Luke Espat’s company Port of Belize Limited in 2002. This order gives the government of Belize the full power to take over immediate control of Commerce Bight “Jettie Pier”. Since this port was handed over to this company for nothing, the people of Dangriga were deprived of the privilege to go fishing there and seek employment to load and unload cargo vessels. The people of Dangriga Town, Stann Creek District, the entire southern region, the citrus, banana and oil industries should all applaud this bold move taken by the UDP Barrow administration because it is in their best interest. A section of Coconut Drive in front of the TMM office and Ramon's Village Resort is currently being repaired due to the deteriorating cobble stones. It is advised to use the detour road which is through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar leading to the road to the Dr. Otto Polyclinic. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your cooperation.

STREET REPAIRS: Section of Coconut Drive (TMM & Ramon's)
A section of Coconut Drive in front of the TMM office and Ramon's Village Resort is currently being repaired due to the deteriorating cobble stones. It is advised to use the detour road which is through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar leading to the road to the Dr. Otto Polyclinic. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your cooperation.

Inspiring Belize's future environmental stewards
Help us to inspire the next generation to protect the incredible diversity of life found in our small corner of Central America

Maya Mountains From Above
The Maya Mountain range is huge, encompassing most of central Belize. Astrum Helicopters has a great video out showing some of it, and the rivers that flow through it. They are planning 5 day Kayak adventures along with Mountain Equestrian Trails. "This video is about Aerials of the Maya Mountains River Expedition. A new Adventure available from Astrum Helicopters & Mountain Equestrian Trails. The video is mostly of the recognizance flight of the river after we dropped off the expedition group. This Adventure will be a 5 day Kayak trip on a remote river, the views speak for themselves. This is a once in a lifetime trip."

King of the Hills Race Video
The Weekend Warriors part of the King of the Hills bicycle race was videoed with a GoPro. They shortened it to just a few minutes, and it came out great. Definitely worth a watch, if nothing more than the view of the streets of downtown Cayo from the middle of the street as bikers move all around. "We got a couple GoPro's hooked up on the bikes to get some footage of the Weekend Warriors Race. Here is some of it. We didn't get the entire race because of some hardware issues."

CBET Seminar at UB Central Farm
The University of Belize Central Farm facilitated a workshop on Competency Based Education Training. Belizean and Canadian teachers worked together to learn methods to increase the quality of teaching. A follow up course will be held in December. "CBET is a method of education and training used in professional environments and academic institutions as an alternative to traditional classroom and course based curriculum. It focuses on defined competencies which are used as milestones or benchmarks to assess the progress of students. Competencies are a set of skills, knowledge and behaviors someone needs to have achieved in order to perform tasks, jobs or activities in the world of work."

Belize at Female Junior CA Championship
The Belize Female Junior volleyball team is doing superbly in Honduras at the Female U20 Central American Championship. They are 2 and 0, having beaten Honduras and El Salvador. They play Nicaragua this evening, then get a rest day, and play the other 3 C.A. teams this week. Keep on going strong! "The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team wins again. They are now 2 and 0 in the tournament. The beat El Salvador 3 sets to 1, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23. Top scorer was again Sherika Burton with 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks). Jahshema Saunders had 13 points (12 kills, 1 ace), Maurissa Williams also contributed with 11 points (6 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace), Leandra Betson had 6 points (4 kills, 1 block, 1 ace)."

Cahal Pech Archaeological Excavation
Cahal Pech is in the middle of having more excavations done, and they are chronicled on They have some great information about the site there, along with some historical information, including the fact that excavations started in the 1950's, and that it might be one of the earliest settlements in Belize. There are also videos, pictures, and journals from the digs. "Cahal Pech covers approximately 10 square miles and includes 34 large buildings, the largest of which is around 24 meters tall, and a possible sweathouse. The site was founded in the Early Middle Preclassic period and continued to thrive as a Maya city until at least the end of the Classic period, though there is ceramic evidence of a longer occupation. Recent excavations have suggested that Cahal Pech, which was most likely settled by Maya from Guatemala, is one of the earliest Maya settlements in Belize."

Expression of Interest – Participation in Dominicana Moda 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) will be collaborating in the organization of Dominicana Moda 2013 (DM2013) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Caribbean Export is highly committed to the development of the Fashion sector in the Region and seeks to enable opportunities such as these to engage relevant stakeholders and foster sector-wide integration. This collaborative effort will provide a great opportunity for emerging and established fashion designers in the Caribbean to expose their vision at a regional and international stage, thus positioning the Caribbean as an international go-to location for Fashion design and ingenuity. Read the rest of this entry »

Channel 7

FECTAB Lets It Fly At Norwegian
Last week we had extended coverage of Norwegian Cruise Line’s proposed cruise destination on Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. Well, the fellows from FECTAB were watching closely. And by fellows, we mean Tom Greenwood, Yohnny Rosado and David Almendarez. You’ve seen them many times on this newscast raging against the Jamaican owned Chukka Tours. Well now, they’re going after Norwegian Cruise Line because they say the Southern Port will take jobs from Belize City. As you might imagine, they had some choice words for the Government officials who hammered out the Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian. Here’s what they said:… Tom Greenwood - President , FECTAB "This MOU is a litany of 'I nuh know weh I di do' - Godwin Hulse, what happened to you my brother? My God you started up as an icon for us and I respect you for that because you have a big mouth like me and you're ready to talk and all of that - Godwin you're a part of this? Michael Singh - I only have one word for you and I can't use it on television - suffice to say that you Michael Singh sitting at the head of this are going to cause damage, you're causing damage to a whole lot of people. FECTAB takes this position - this entire MOU is not right, it's wrong in many places - it has made mistakes. Those mistakes could easily have been corrected by proper consultation - an open thing, and it is just a litany of mistakes being made. The mistakes will cost a lot of us our investments and will cost a lot of us our jobs."

Cabinet Rejects Hon. Espat’s Proposal, Proposes Way Forward
And where Greenwood was blazing up Chukka, today the Prime Minister took on PUP Cayo South Representative and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Julius Espat. As we’ve reported, Espat wants to reform the non performing Committee by adding civil society membership. Well, two weeks ago, in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister rubbished Espat’s motion – saying it would up-end the letter and spirit of the standing orders. But Espat’s proposal has gotten key support from the Chamber of Commerce and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize – and so, his cause has gotten traction – the kind that the Prime Minister cannot easily ignore. That’s why today, the Office of The Prime Minister issued an unusual statement going over Cabinet’s position on the reform proposal. It says that Cabinet has quote, “carefully noted the positions taken by the …Chamber of Commerce and the NTUCB.” It continues, quote, “Cabinet remains convinced, however, that such a proposal is fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House.”

Major Crime Down, Murder and Robbery See Sharpest Decline
If you watch the evening news or read the papers regularly, you’ll know that major crime is down. So far this year we’ve reported on fewer murders and the numbers reflect that as well. The latest crime statistics were released today – and they show that up to the end of July 2013, major crimes are down by 12.7% compared to the same period last year. Most important than that is that so far for 2013, murder is down by 23.8% - compared to the same period in 2012. At the National Security Minister’s monthly meeting with zone and branch commanders today, Police Commissioner Allen Whylie attributed the success to the hard-work of the police officers. Here’s his address to his colleagues: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "I would like to put on record, the Minister and myself for the hard work the members of the Belize Department have been doing country wide and I want to again reassure the public that we continue to re-strategize what we are doing and we continue to evolve in our crime fighting efforts. This is testimony to the commitments and the hard work of all members of the Belize Police Department as well as the direction the regional commanders have been playing in terms of steering their regions in our crime fighting efforts. We've noted decreases once again in the Western Region compared to the same period last year, July 2013 we've had 42 cases reported from the Western Region which comprises San Ignacio, Belmopan and Benque Viejo compared to 56 cases in July 2012.

Hon. Julius Says Amin “Can’t” Run
Last night on this newscast you saw former PUP Belmopan Candidate Amin Hegar explaining why he got back into the race for a new PUP Standard Bearer in Belmopan. That’s after he had endorsed newcomer Jason Patrick Andrews. Cagey veteran that he is Hegar said that his committee wouldn’t support Andrews and they called him to come back. Well, Julius Espat, who is the PUP Deputy Leader for the West is calling for Hegar to stand down. Espat today told us quite bluntly that Hegar can’t come back:.. Jules Vasquez "How do you view Mr. Hegar's return?" Julius Espat - Deputy Leader, PUP "There's no return, when you make a statement to your party leader that you tell your party leader and your deputy party leader that 'I will endorse Jules Vasquez for this' and that is a commitment you make to us then you cannot change your mind again because then you're being dishonest with the leader of the party and you're being dishonest with yourself and dishonest to the people that you are saying you want to represent. There's no coming back when it comes to that Jules. It's not that he spoke to me and the party leader alone you know, he spoke to Mr. Pat Andrews, he called a meeting of his executive and told them that he wanted to endorse Mr. Andrews, he went to that meeting with his people and Patrick's people and publicly made that statement; he made calls to his supporters to support Patrick. So, I don't understand where this is coming from."

Hon. Julius Says Cordel Needs to Show Unquestioned Loyalty To Hon. Fonseca
We also asked Deputy Leader Espat about Cordel Hyde – whose return in the Lake Independence division has been long rumoured. Reports say it would have been made more or less official at a meeting this afternoon at PUP Headquarters where Hyde would have met with senior members of the party to discuss the way forward. The meeting never happened because past leader John Briceno and Deputy Florencio Marin Juniour were at a funeral in Corozal, but it will happen soon. Espat told us that the way ahead is about confidence building:… Julius Espat -Deputy Leader, PUP "If there is any way of us sitting down and having a discussion - we have to have a certain level of trust and I think that that has been lacking in the PUP for some time now and I think we need to establish trust within ourselves. I presonally am open to sit with any persons especially Cordel Hyde because I know he has a certain level of popularity in his division and you cannot take that away from him and we need to have an open discussion. What are you offering to the party? Are you a part of this reform and change that this leader has put in place for us to do? And how can you be a part of it and help the People's United Party form government."

SATIIM Gets Supreme Court Hearing Against US Capital
3 weeks ago, 7 News told you about the urgency which the organization, SATIIM, was pressing for the an urgent hearing of an injunction application to stop US Capitol Energy from drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. According to SATIIM's Executive Director, US Capital had increased its activities in preparation for this drilling, and so the Supreme Court scheduled the hearing for today, one month earlier than intended. Villagers from Mayan Communities in the South were bussed into the city and filled the courtroom of Justice Rita Olivette this morning. But, in the end, this urgent hearing didn't take place because both sides agreed that in good faith US Capitol would delay its oil explorations for at least a couple of months. Is that a binding promise? Well, it depends on which side you asked, and that's what we tried to do today when the attorneys left the courtroom. Here's what they told us: Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney for US Capital Energy "When we got here this morning, the attorney for SATIM informed us that they would be withdrawing from the application for the interim injunction that was brought from the 19th of September. He approached us with the opportunity for us to withdraw the application. I don't want to comment too much about it but you would have to ask them as to why they did that. We were under the impression that what US Capital was doing was causing such irreparable harm that we had to have a hearing now but it worked out for us. US Capital continues its work as it is authorized to do by the government of Belize and that's their choice. You would have to ask Mr. Courtenay why they withdrew their application. From what we gleam from it, its an application to stop US Capital from drilling and exploring for oil because supposedly the government did not have the legal authority to grant permission to US Capital, we naturally disagree with that."

Choq Says Norwegian Needs To Consult Mayas On Culture
On Monday, we told you how the National Garifuna Council scolded Norwegian Cruise Line for speaking loosely about the sacred Dugu Ceremony as one of the attractions at Harvest Caye. Indeed, Norwegian wants to base their development on Harvest Caye on the Garifuna and Mayan Cultures. Today, we asked Greg Ch'oc, one of the leaders of the Mayan Communities, how he feels about it. He told us that GOB cannot highlight the Mayan Culture on one hand, and on the other, try to resist their efforts to preserve it. Here's how he explained it: Gregorio Choq - Executive Director, SATIM "There has been discussion both between Garifuna and Maya organizations on the implication of the Norwegian Cruise Line using the Garifuna and the Maya cultural attributes as the theme for their tourism investment. I think what I have understood the conversation to be, there are parties within the Garifuna and the Maya are concerned that we'll bring this to their attention of the NCL and try to move a way forward. I think there is potential opportunities but there is also the potential of the exploitation of the culture of both people and I think that that has to be discussed in some way or the other. Whether it is with government or with the NCL."

GOB Agrees To Hold Off On Demand For Tax Arrears From Ashcroft Allied Company
It been almost 2 and a half months since the Government of Belize took over the IBC and IMMARBE registries – taking possession from the Ashcroft-allied Belize International Services Limited. This week the first legal challenge from BISL went to the Supreme Court. It took the form of an injunction to stop the Government of Belize from collecting 30 million dollars in back taxes which Government claims were not paid by BISL. BISL's position is that they want to challenge Government on these taxes, but the company doesn't have 30 million dollars to just pay upfront before they can do that. Eamon Courtenay, who represents BISL told us how Monday's hearing played out in an undertaking instead of an injunction, which still serves his client's intended outcome: Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for BISL "That has to do with a tax case; the government has assessed Belize International Services Limited to thirty million dollars in tax, and it is clearly an unlawful and arbitrary assessment and we have challenged it.

Audrey, What’s Next?
Audrey Matura is leaving OCEANA tomorrow – but yesterday she got one last hit of publicity when Oceana launched a new website that is designed to serve as a teaching aid. It came out of the fact that OCEANA receives many invitations to make school presentations and sometimes just can’t accommodate everyone – so the website will fill in the blanks: Monica Bodden "What type of information can the public get from off this website?" Audrey Matura-Shepherd, VP, Oceana Belize "They can get from issues of mangrove, climate change, energy and just bio diversity of the Belizean environment on a whole, so basically, every marine aspect of the environment, they can find on the website. They can get basic information for a primary school student to as high level for a university graduate, so it spans a spectrum, and it's very relevant and pertinent to Belize. Many times when you do research you find mangrove but not specific to Belize where she curtailed it specific for Belize. As a matter of fact, she actually went to the Ministry of Education website to see what is the curriculum requirement in the school, so that she knows what are some of the information she has to do and put it together, so that is what she did."

Corozalito Village is in the Cayo District and today it got a new water system. There are only 200 residents but the water system cost $212,000 dollars. Mike Zetina of SIF explained:… Mike Zetina - SIF Representative "Corozalito Village Water system which is financed by the government of Belize under SIF at a cost of $212,000. The project consists of the supply of a production well, construction of a tank base with security fence, supply of two two-thousand five hundred gallons of water reservoir at the highest level of the community, construction of a new pump house and fence. The supply of an installation of a 15 horsepower submersible pump, chlorinator and installation of 10,600ft of distribution and transmission pipes and installation of water meters throughout the village. The system will supply and all year round potable water for some 200 residence of Corzalito Village. We congratulate the residence and community of Corozalito village in the completion of this endeavor, a lot of work has been done by the community in getting to this point, apart from the many meetings to work out the details of the project and coordinate its execution."

Channel 5

SATIIM withdraws injunction against Government of Belize
The expedited hearing of an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy was scheduled for this morning. SATIIM and leaders of Mayan communities bordering the Sarstoon Temash National Park [...]

SATIIM requests expedition of substantive matter in its case against U.S. Capital
Attorney for SATIIM Eamon Courtenay is basing his argument on straightforward grounds. But, government attorney Denys Barrow says it won’t be all that straightforward, and he sees the claims in [...]

FECTAB joins B.T.I.A. in criticizing recent MOU for Harvest Caye mega tourism project
Since proposing the introduction of cruise tourism through public consultation back in October 2010, residents of Placencia have strongly opposed the expansion of the sector into southern Belize.  Despite an [...]

FECTAB says only selected few will benefit from NCL project
According to David Almendarez, despite strong objection from all corners of the tourism industry and from conservationists alike, the government intends to proceed with the proposal to develop Harvest Caye.  [...]

SATIIM’s Greg Cho’c also against NCL project
In addition to the Garifuna culture which will be highlighted in the new cruise tourism package, NCL is looking at the Mayan culture as a selling point. SATIIM’s Greg Ch’oc [...]

Eamon Courtney explains lawsuit against Belize International Services Limited
In June, the Government of Belize appropriated the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, I.B.C. and IMMARBE, respectively, both operating under Belize International Services [...]

Office of the Prime Minister takes position on restructuring of the PAC
Both the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Chamber of Commerce have recently expressed support for a motion to restructure the Public Accounts Committee of the House of [...]

2 charged for robbery and aggravated assault of Senor Waco
On Sunday, seventy-four year old Onofre Sabido, better known as “El Primer Tacero or Senor Waco”, was brutally attacked inside his home in San Jose Palmar in the outskirts of [...]

Pelican Street resident charged with Drug Trafficking
Fifty-one year old Brenda Mejia, a school warden of Belize City, has been charged with drug trafficking after being busted at her home on Pelican Street Extension.  On Tuesday evening, [...]

Rapist charged with wounding
Thirty-six year old Shirley Lambey-Arnold, the wife of Michael ‘Crazy’ Arnold, who is currently serving time for rape, has been charged with wounding.  The arraignment follows an incident during which [...]

Julius Espat sings welcome to the party to Cordel…
There was a meeting scheduled for this afternoon between P.U.P. prodigal son Cordel Hyde and the leadership of the party. Both Hyde and those leaders have made no secret of [...]

…but hit the road jack to Amin Hegar
But while Cordel Hyde is tentatively on the way in, the door has been slammed shut in the face of Belmopan P.U.P. political figure Amin Hegar. Hegar narrowly lost to [...]

U-15 Footballers win game against Grenada
The national under-fifteen football team has made Belize proud with their performance at the 2013 CONCACAF U-fifteen Championship being held in the Grand Cayman Islands. Last Friday, the team had [...]

Belize Female National Volleyball Team stirring up storm in Honduras
The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team is stirring up a storm in Honduras, where it is representing Belize in the U-18 Central American Championship. Held in San Rosa de [...]

Ras Dara invites you to annual tribute event this weekend
A tribute to late reggae legend Lucky Dube by philanthropist Dara Robinson, as part of an annual fundraising effort to collect funds and canned goods for his feeding program, was [...]

Who will be the next superstar?
Be the Next Superstar… the finals for season two of the hottest entertainment show was staged at the Bliss on Tuesday night. Four performers pulled out the best pieces to [...]


Attack on Homeless Man Reported in Northern Belize
It is not certain who or why someone attacked a well-known homeless person from Orange Walk Town. He is known as Delmo Bardalez and most of the times is seen around the center of town begging or offering to quickly dust off your vehicle but yesterday a little after four he was seen on Main Street bleeding profusely from his lower right back. A quick chat he had with one of our reporters indicated the wound was inflicted with a machete when he was around the Piemonte Cemetery in Orange Walk Town. He did not specify why the person or persons did it or who inflicted the wound. From our observations it seemed to be a big cut as the back of his shirt and pants were soaked with blood. Police was called and Delmo was taken to the NRH for medical attention. Our checks this morning proved futile as we were told there were no records of the incident in the police dairy. We were unable to find Delmo to check on his health.

SATIIM Requests Adjournment of Injunction
Last week we told you about the press release that SATIIM and the communities of the Sarstoon Temash Region issued out expressing their condemnation of US Capital Energy’s decision to reject their request for the company to suspend its activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park until the hearing of the application for an injunction which was schedule for September 19th of this year. SATIIM along with the leaders of the communities of the Sarstoon Temash Region were in court this morning. According to the Executive Director for SATIIM, Greg Choc, SATIIM instructed its legal counsel to adjourn their injunction. Choc explained why. GREG CHOC “We found out that US Capital would not drill before November. We felt that we needed to ensure that we got an earlier date for the more substantive case and that is what we did today. We adjourned the injunction without prejudice to our right to come back to court should US Capital proceed with drilling inside the park.”

Prosecution Failed to Present Case File in Court; Electrician Walks on Drug Charge
A charge of drug trafficking against 39 year old Curtis Yorke, an electrician of a Flamboyant Street address, was struck out today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for want of prosecution. The case was set for trial today but the prosecution was unable to proceed because there was no case file available. As a result, Magistrate Stuart stuck it out and told Yorke that he was free to go. Yorke was not represented by any attorney. The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on December 26, 2012. The police were conducting house to house searches in St. Martin De Porres area and Yorke’s house was on the list. When they searched Yorke’s house they did not find anything incriminating. But when they searched the bushes of a yard next to Yorke’s house they found a black plastic bag containing 117 grams of cannabis.

Drugs Found in Home of School Warden
Fifty-one year old school warden Brenda Mejia, a resident of Pelican Street Extension, was charged with drug trafficking when she appeared in Court today. Mejia pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton offered her a bail of two thousand dollars and adjourned her case until October 15. The incident occurred around 3:40 p.m. yesterday. The police reported that they went to Mejia’s house and when they searched it they found a black plastic bag containing one hundred thirteen point four grams of cannabis on the sill of the flooring under the bathroom. As a result, Mejia was taken into custody and charged. The cannabis was labeled as exhibit.

Potable Water for Village in Western Belize
Corozalito Village in the Cayo District is now benefitting from a new potable water system which was inaugurated this morning. Corozalito is an extension of San Jose Succotz Village, established in 1982, and has not had potable water supply since then. Over two hundred residents will benefit from the project implemented by the Social Investment fund Two, with funding from the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, at a cost of two hundred and twelve thousand dollars. Corozalito depends on subsistence farming with the cultivation of coco yam, plantains, tomatoes, several fruits and rearing of pigs. The Keynote Speaker for the inauguration was Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection and Area Representative for Cayo West, Erwin Contreras. Addresses were also delivered by representatives of SIF, the Ministry of Rural Development, the San Jose Village Council and the Corozalito Water Board.

Harvest Caye Development Meets More Opposition
Another group has come public to make expressly clear, its objection to the Government’s agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line for the Harvest Caye development project. The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), led by its President, Tom Greenwood, and members, Yohnny Rosado and David Almendarez, vociferously criticized the project at a press conference this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Greenwood called the project a mistake. TOM GREENWOOD “We only pray and hope that the Government of Belize recognizes the mistakes being made here; the mistake of that entire project; the mistake of the way the MOU is put together; the enclosure that this is going to create in the south, the dredging, the disregard for the overnight industry, the mouthing about reducing unemployment from 14 – 7 percent. We put an X on a piece of paper so you can go up there and take care of us while we are taking care of our children not so you can enjoy yourself so we can’t feed our children which is what is happening and we need to correct that. We see conflagrations in other parts of the world; humanity is beginning to get fed up with nonsensical things and unnecessary things. This is nonsensical and unnecessary; it needs to be corrected; it needs to be stopped in its tracks. Call in the people who are concerned; call in the overnight industry first of all; call in everyone and say, ‘there is too much flack for this, let us try to correct this’; that is why you are a minister of government and that is why you are there.”

Police News
Yesterday afternoon, police conducted a search for illegal firearm and ammunition at the home of Brenda Maheia on Pelican Street Extension in Belize City. According to police the search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 113.4 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result, police arrested and charged 51 year old Brenda Therese Maheia for drug trafficking. Last night police conducted a search in the Iguana Street area near the basketball which led to the discovery of a chrome point 38 Smith and Wesson brand Revolver without serial number which also contain five live point 38 Aguila brand ammunition. No one was in the immediate area at the time and the firearm and ammunition was labeled and deposited as found property. Yesterday morning, a twenty two year old laborer visited the Faber’s Road precinct and reported that on Monday, August 19th at about 8:30pm, he arrived home and parked his Green Lifan Motorcycle under the stairs located in front of the apartment building. When he woke up the following morning at about 8:00am he noticed that his cycle, valued at two thousand five hundred Belize dollars, was missing. Police are investigating.

Retired American Falls From Ladder and Dies
A Belize City resident passed away after falling from a ladder. Police say on Monday they visited the KHMH morgue where they saw the body of seventy five year old Charles Emmel, a retired American of Joy Avenue. According to reports, Emmel’s wife told police earlier on the same date, she got a call informing her that her husband was rushed to the KHMH after falling off a ladder. Upon arriving at the KHMH, she was informed that her husband sustained five broken ribs which apparently punctured his right lung and as result, Charles Emmel succumbed to his injuries. A post mortem examination was conducted on the body, where at the conclusion of the examination, the doctor certified the cause of death as Multifocal and ventricular bilateral hemorrhage due to the fall.

Cabinet Disagrees with Proposed Changes in the Public Accounts Committee
The Office of the Prime Minister announced that Cabinet cannot agree with proposals by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize seeking to reform the Public Accounts Committee. A release issued by the Prime Minister’s office explains that Cabinet remains convinced that such a proposal is fundamentally inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Standing Orders of the House. It says the amendments of the Standing Orders that would be required for the transformation of the current PAC would render the proceedings of the new Committee both expensive and impractical. It goes on to say that for all three social partners, the opposition and the Government to be on the proposed new body and for the fundamental Standing Orders principle of Democracy which requires the Government to be the majority on all Standing Committees, to be maintained, would result in an quote “unwieldy and top heavy Committee and greatly ratchet up the costs associated with Committee hearings” end quote. The release also states that Cabinet considers the PAC provides perfectly workable and efficient formula for conducting the business assigned to the Committee and that it is only the quote, “game playing and grandstanding of Julius Espat as Chairman, which has frustrated the Committee and prevented it from functioning.

Reduction of Major Crimes for July Earns Award for Police Zones
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar today presented a cheque of one thousand dollars to the Eastern Zone and Coastal Sub-Formation for the greatest reduction in Major Crimes in July 2013. To receive the Cheque for the Eastern Division was Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who heads the Eastern Division. The Minister will also be presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Superintendent Luis Castellanos who heads the Coastal Sub formation. Statistics for the Eastern Division show a total of one hundred and eleven major crimes for the month of July with a noticeable reduction in the Coastal area. Only two murders have been reported for the month of July in the Eastern Division, one in the Rural Division and one in Precinct one. The other major crime is that of burglary which decreased significantly in the month of July with twenty five cases reported for the month in comparison to thirty three in May and thirty six in June, robbery and theft however had a significant increase. Over all there’s been quite a decrease in murders as compared to last year for the period January to July. The Belize District shows the highest rate but decreased from fifty one to forty eight.


Cordel Hyde's Return To The PUP Still Undecided
Will Cordel Hyde return to the PUP? That question was to be answered today when members of the PUP Executive were expected to meet at the party’s headquarters in Belize City. The meeting however, was postponed to a later date since most members of the executive, majority from the north, were unable to attend. There has been no definite date set for the meeting. However, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat did tell the media yesterday he has no problem in sitting down with Hyde to discuss his return. In his interview Espat also metioned that if the former Lake I Area Representatvie wants to run in the PUP ticket he must quote "Believe in Francis Fonseca and the People's United Party, if not then you can't run for the PUP." unqoute.

Pastor Accused Of Accosting The Women Of His Congregation
On Monday we told you about the pastor from the Assemblies of God Church located on Aurora Street, Orange Walk, who is being accused by his congregation of committing some serious crimes. One: It is alleged that Pastor Rafael Perez sold most of the church’s assets including musical instruments. Two: Perez reportedly wiped out the bank account of the District Association of Pastors for the Assemblies of God Ministry here in Orange Walk for which he held the post of treasurer. And three, now this is the worst accusation of all, he is said to have offered a number of people from the congregation, mostly females, to take them to the United States in exchange for money and sex. This is definitely a serious accusation especially when a pastor is being accused of committing the act. So, we went looking for answers and today we managed to speak to two of the females who Perez reportedly accosted. In order to protect the women we will conceal their identity. Lady One- Allegedly Accosted by Pastor “El me empezó a insinuar eso cuando yo a él yo le dije que no quiero estar solo por cinco meses y medio allí porque si voy hacer un viaje así me resultaría más quedarme por lo menos un ańo y entonces fue cuando el me empezó a decir esas palabras y todo, pero yo quería que el llegara al punto de decirme la palabra exacta poro no el usaba sus ideas también y solo las insinuaciones entonces yo un día para ver si realmente era dinero o algo parte que el quería y yo le pregunte a él que si es dinero lo que quiere que me esta insinuando cosas así y que yo voy a ver cómo conseguir el dinero y dárselo y luego el me digo no que el dinero para él no es ningún problema diciéndome que realmente es lo que él quiere, él no me dijo exactamente quiero tener relaciones pero esa muchacha que está aquí si se lo dijo directamente.”

Sabido's Attacker Slapped With A Third Charge, Magistrate Says No Bail
Yesterday 27 year old Najirie Quiroja, better known as (white puss), and 18 year Edwin Cruz, both from San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk, were offered bail of $3,000 each plus a surety of the same amount which they met after they were charged for aggravated assault and robbery. Quiroja and Cruz are accused of brutally attacking and robbing 78 year old Onofre Sabido on Sunday evening while he was resting inside his home located in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As mentioned last night, Sabido’s family was dissatisfied that both men were offered bail. Now, that’s where we left you last night. Today however, we were informed that early this morning Quiroja and Cruz were once again escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where they were additionally charged for deadly means of harm. This time the magistrate was not so lenient and the prosecutions objection to bail was upheld.

Denny Goes Back To Court, Noh Mul Case Adjourned
It went under the radar, but those following the case of the destruction of Noh Mul closely, might have realized that the matter was scheduled to have been heard at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court yesterday. Tonight we can tell you that the case was adjourned to a date in the month of October. We understand that Denny Grijlava, his wife Emelda and Emir Cruz, who are facing charges of removing earth from an ancient monument without a permit from the Director of Archaeology and causing willful damage of an ancient monument, and Javier Nunez who was charged for causing the removal of earth from an ancient monument and willfully damaging an ancient monument, were in court yesterday. The charges were levied against the individuals back in the month of June after the destruction of Noh Mul, one of the North’s largest Maya Mound’s, attracted both local and international attention.


Teenager dies as a result of hit and run injuries
A teenager has died as a result of injuries he sustained in a hit and run incident. The incident happened almost a month ago on July 27nd in the Valley of Peace Village in the Cayo District. 17 year old Jorge Orellano had been suffering from head injuries and...

Matthew Ifield hospitalized after fleeing from assailant
32 year old Matthew Ifield has been hospitalized after narrowly escaping death. Reports have it that Monday night at around 8:30 p.m. on the George Price Highway, in the Red Creek Area of Santa Elena Town, Mr Ifield left a restaurant and was heading home on his bicycle. That...

Man sentenced to prison for running through police checkpoint
An Orange Walk father and businessman of Northern Belize is serving a one year sentence imposed upon him Tuesday evening, after he pleaded guilty to running into a police officer at a checkpoint in Hattieville. He is 50 year old David Carrillo of Orange Walk District. Tuesday evening, Mr...

Progress but concerns at Battlefield Park
The Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City has been given a significant renovation by the Belize City Council. We discussed it with City Councilor responsible for Parks, Kevin Singh. Kevin Singh – Councilor: The Park is supposed to be given to us, the City Council, ...

Medical Tourism Council to be formed.
Belize’s Trade and Investment Service, BELTRAIDE, has been aggressively promoting medical tourism and business process outsourcing (BPO) as the sectors where new jobs will be created. The latter, mostly manifested in the form of call centers that hire hundreds of workers to perform tasks that cost too much in...

Taiwan donates for Tilapia Hatchery Center
On Tuesday the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated $651,725 USD to the Ministry of Agriculture for the GOB-ROC (Taiwan) Aquaculture Project. The cheque was presented by Taiwanese Ambassador His Excellency David Wu to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega. This was the...

Belize’s Female U-20 National Selection departs for Comayagua
Tuesday afternoon Belize’s Female U-20 National Selection departed for Comayagua, Honduras to represent the Jewel at the UNCAF U-20 Women’s Central American Qualifier which will be held in Honduras from August 21-25, 2013. The Lady Jaguars are seeking qualification to the CONCACAF tournament to be held next January in the...

CWU plans Convention for October
On Monday we told you that Antonio Gonzalez is standing down as president of the Christian Worker’s Union with effect from October 26, when his successor will be chosen at an extraordinary congress of the Union. After a meeting with representatives of the stevedores working at the Port of...

Belize Can demonstrates against GOB and UB for their promotion of the Gender Policy
There was a demonstration Tuesday in the Capital City. The demonstration was organized by Belize Can against the Government of Belize and the University of Belize for their stand and promotion of Gender related issues. Shadel Young reports. Shadel Young: The weather...

Two-day workshop held on REDD+ program
The Forest Department wants to impress on the nation of Belize to partake in a massive global movement that is known as REDD +, which stands for Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation Forest Degradation- a big name, with a big cause. Belize, a developing country,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

End of Summer Bash at 88 West
Saturday August 24th

Sophia Diego represents Belize in Honduras!
Local football star, Sophia Diego, made Caye Caulker proud when she qualified for U20 Women’s National Football Team. Her proud mom, Ellen Armstrong of Cayeboard Connection, says it took a lot of hard work and dedication over the summer for her to succeed. According to mom, Sofia sometimes practised in 92 degree super humid heat. The team is now in Comayagua, Honduras to play in a Concacaf tournament there. If they qualify they will proceed to the next level in the Concacaf competition in Grand Cayman. Thanks for lifting the spirits of your home island, Sophia. We are proud of you and the entire female national football team. Sophia is the smiling face under the letter W in this pic.


A day in Corozal Town part 2
For those of you who might not know much about Corozal, aside from being a well traveled gateway to Mexico, it is the northernmost town in Belize and a popular expat destination. Corozal town is located about 84 miles north of Belize City, and approximately 9 miles from the border of Mexico. It is a scenic and peaceful town on Corozal Bay, see My Day Trip to Corozal part 1 post for where to get a delicious $8 BZD breakfast, tour of town and shopping pictures. As much as I enjoyed poking around all the stores with Cathie and Holly, my favorite part of the day was when we hit Jam rock for lunch. It was darts tournament day and before long the open air restaurant was filled with people. Everyone was super friendly and I even met a few blog readers and someone I had connected with on the Belize Forum before. As usual my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ordered a burger with fries and a side of onion rings for lunch – yum. After lunch we walked over to the Corozal House of Culture and saw a really cool art exhibit - ‘Through Caity’s Eyes, by super talented twelve year old Caitlyn Tillet. She is one amazing artist for such a young age. I loved the architecture of the building in particular a very cool silver metal a spiral staircase. It was also interesting to see a model of Fort Barlee, as Cathie had pointed out some of the original wall structure that is still standing when we walked through town.

“Living in the Past” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With clarification/confirmation of the monetary cost of stuff that we can import for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize under the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program) I spent what seemed like hours (it was hours which is why it seemed like it) reviewing the list that we had drawn up of the things we need (OK, for ‘need’ you could say we just ‘want’) and then searching the Internet to make price comparisons. Our target is to have the list complete, orders placed and delivered to the shipping agent in Miami to connect with a service heading to Belize departing on either 27 August or 3 September. We are then hopeful that within ten days of departure the stuff would be with us. The earlier sailing would be better but … I started the task at around 05.00 hours (after I had read The Times on-line) out on the veranda where there was a nice breeze but I sensed always the threat of rain (its that time of year!). The rain held off but the sky did show threats of it.

International Sources

Cuckoo for coconuts
The tropical fruit comes in many forms and seems to be everywhere. Forget the apricots, peaches and blueberries beckoning you at the market and consider, for a moment, the coconut. While this sweet, nutty fruit has been around for centuries, it has been quietly invading our cupboards and fridges the past few years. Take a spin around any grocery store. The produce section has fresh coconuts that look like mini, hairy, brown bowling balls, perched among other tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas and pineapples. In the beverage cooler sits a cardboard carton of coconut water, a natural alternative to those neon-hued sports drinks. The bulk aisle has bins overflowing with shredded coconut and coconut flour; there’s coconut milk next to the soy sauce. Lest you forget, lurking among the olive and sunflower oil offerings are the jars and bottles of coconut oil and butter, right next to the fermented coconut vinegar.

Murder suspect turns to the ECHR in Strasbourg
Karol Mello charged in Slovakia for multiple offences and now at large in Belize, has turned to the European Court for Human Rights to stop his prosecution in cases other than the double murder charge, allegedly involving a woman and child, from 2004. His attorney Peter Schmidl told the Plus jeden de daily that prosecution in several different cases have not been halted even after six months since a court in Krakow (where Mello was apprehended) issued a ruling according to which Mello cannot be prosecuted on other cases than the 2004 double murder. Schmidl says his client would like to return to Slovakia and defend himself in the double murder case, but is discouraged from doing so by Slovak courts not respecting the Krakow ruling.

Trip teaches value of education
As Americans, we take public education—kindergarten through twelfth grade—for granted, but in Belize what we take for granted is considered a luxury. Five VSU students traveled to northeastern Central America for a summer study abroad program in Belize. Dr. Matthew Richard, an anthropology professor, and Tom Besom, an archaeologist, led the trip. “I chose to go because I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone,” Ashley Dailey, senior English major, said. “I’ve traveled abroad before, but always to tourist destinations that I was really comfortable with. Belize was a completely different experience.” While in Belize, the group discovered that even high school education costs money; many villagers, particularly women, cannot afford the schooling. As such, the villagers take up crafts and skills to make an income. The students met three women living in Santa Elena, Belize: Miriam, Christina and Dyna Choc. Their ages ranged from 25 to 36, and their source of income is basket and bracelet weaving. Miriam and Christina Choc are sisters whose father died when they were young. Neither of the women had the chance to attend high school due to a lack of stable income in the household. “I met (the women) during my time in the village performing everyday tasks like washing clothes or going to church,” Dailey said. “My first meal in the village was with Christina’s family, and I ate with Dyna’s family quite a bit.”

Discovery still represents most-northerly known breeding pair in the Americas. Scientists and local community members recently discovered two new Harpy Eagle nests in the Maya Mountains of southern Belize. The new nests in Belize are approximately 15km from one another; the first, located in Columbia River Forest Reserve, was discovered by a resident of a nearby village in July 2012. A female Harpy Eagle was observed interacting with the nest by the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) Avian Technicians over the following weeks; however, no juvenile was sighted. The second nest was discovered in January 2013 by BFREE Avian Technicians; William Garcia, Liberato Pop, and Marlyn Cruz, during bird monitoring surveys in the Bladen Nature Reserve. This nest and its residents – both adult parents and their juvenile - were monitored on a monthly basis, and in May 2013, the healthy juvenile fledged.

Students present findings of Belize research at national forum
Two University of North Georgia education students who visited Belize to document differences between U.S. teachers still in school and Belizean teachers in the field presented their research in July at the Emerging Scholarly Research Forum at Nova Southeastern University and also shared how visiting a third-world school can impact the futures of American teachers. Students Joyce Kinsey and Erica Word recently visited Belize and gathered a wide range of data on the Belizean teachers, including their years of experience, age, educational background, time spent planning, government influence, job satisfaction, availability of resources, and pay. Based on these and other variables, the students compared teacher efficacy between American and Belizean teachers. "By comparing the Belizean teachers to ourselves as undergrad 'student' teachers, we noticed they do not focus as much on procedures and classroom management as we do in the United States. We also compared the ages, experience and education of the Belizean teachers to one another and discovered there is a wide range in ages and experience," Word said.

VIDEO: Cenote Angelita: "Underwater River"
near Quintana Roo, Mexico

Student volunteers at health clinic in Belize
McKenzie Carda, 21, grew up in Sidney and is currently a junior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This past summer, she took a nine-day trip to Patchakan, Belize where she volunteered at a rural, non-profit health clinic. Carda describes the experience as hands on, rewarding and “eye opening.” On her first day volunteering at the clinic, there were not enough chairs and tables set up yet, so the clinic was running an hour and a half behind schedule. Expecting patients to get upset and leave, Carda was pleasantly surprised. A family with two boys came in and she played ball with them as they waited, which was an activity where the language barrier did not matter. “The family as a whole ended up having something pretty serious with them, but they were so cute and they were so understanding. Everyone down there was pretty relaxed and understanding,” she said. A cultural difference Carda observed was how laid back everyone was compared to Americans. “Our team leader, who had been up to the United States, would talk about how it’s so different with people being in a rush and you gotta do things now,” she said. “In Belize, they just take their time.”

How it feels to have parents, summed up in 20 seconds on the monkey bars

The Exposure Triangle and How it Affects Your Photos
Getting a new DSLR can be quite an overwhelming experience for a new photographer. All the knobs and buttons seem to do a thousand different things (and they do), but the dirty secret of photography is that at its core, knowledge of the exposure triangle is what will make your new DSLR really sing. If you know how the exposure triangle works, then you essentially know the basics of how your photographs will turn out and you can build your skills with the manual functions of your camera from that solid basis.

August 21, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The Belize Red Cross initiates activities to celebrate 30 years of service to Belize
Its celebrations will span from August 2013 to August of 2014 incorporating next year as the 30th year of having been accepted in the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent in Geneva. The Belize Red Cross Society was legally recognized in Belize as a voluntary aid organization, auxiliary to the Government in all humanitarian fields, on August 18th 1983. However history documents activities in Belize began when the known British Honduras Branch of the British Red Cross began work in 1914 as part of World War one support from western hemispheric countries and territories. In April 1950 the Belize Red Cross Movement was under the leadership of the President of 20 years, Belizean Sir Wilson McMillan.

San Pedro Resident Shocked by High Tension Electrical Wire
Electricity was briefly interrupted in the downtown area of San Pedro Town after a man was shocked by a high tension electrical wire. The incident occurred shortly after 4PM on Monday, August 19th on Barrier Reef Drive. The victim, 42 year old Alberto Tamai, had to be airlifted for further medical attention in Belize City. According to police, Tamai was doing some work on the roof of Sunbreeze Suites located on Barrier Reef Drive when a metal zinc came in contact with a high tension electricity wire from the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). People in the neighborhood assisted Tamai and rushed him to a medical facility on the island where he was later transferred to Belize City for further medical attention.

Students continue to receive educational assistance
On Friday, August 9th, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor Daniel Guerrero handed over financial assistance checks to the second group of students who were selected to receive educational subsidies from the Government of Belize’s commitment to education program. A total of 100 subsidies were issued to Belize Rural South Area by the government. The subsidies ranged from $300-$500 for high school students, $800-$1000 for 6th form students and a maximum of $1,500 for students attending university studies in the country. Minister Heredia, through the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), will also be giving out subsidies to an additional 150 students of the area to aid with educational expenses.

Amigos Jungle Tours: Tikal Temple
Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop has been defying great expectations since 1987. Proven not only to be the largest dive shop on Ambergris Caye but one of the best in snorkeling and diving, Amigos Del Mar has now taken to the jungle in order to bring people as close to mother nature and adventure as possible. Amigos Jungle Tours offer a unique experience in mainland Belize. Away from the coral reef and sparkling Caribbean waters, Amigos is feeding adventure junkies great trips such as cave tubing, zip lining, ATV tour and even trips to the ancient Maya temples of Xunantunich, Lamani and Tikal in nearby Guatemala. The San Pedro Sun crew was luckily invited to a tour of Tikal Temple which proved not only to be culturally enriching but also adventurous and exciting. The trip start at the break of dawn; being a morning person I indulged in the fresh coffee offered at Amigos del Mar Dive Shop to wake me up and prepare me for the great trip ahead. The boat departed at 6AM destined to Belize City. Our captain and tour guide, Edgar Munguia, maneuvers the “Another Princess”(name of our vessel) through various channels as we watch the sun rise in the horizon.

Ambergris Today

Belize Taking Lead in Implementing First CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Project
Belize became the first of five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to begin implementation of a multi-million dollar regional energy efficiency project, the Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and making the energy sectors in the participating countries of Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago more efficient while increasing their use of renewable energy. The project was officially launched on 13 August 2013, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, and was attended by approximately 30 key stakeholders involved in the project.

Pic of the Week: Inside Out Bodega at Akbol Retreat
Maybe the people at Ak'Bol Retreat in North Ambergris Caye, Belize have the right idea - easy access. Why put everything inside the bodega for storage when you can have everything hanging outside for ease of use. LOL! Well we figured the outside 'accessories' of the bodega at Ak'Bol are more for esthetics rather than for anything else. It just caught our attention as we visited the Retreat this past week; it adds some charm to the place, we think.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Archaeological diving feature
A feature about the archaeological work being done at Cara Blanca pools in Belize. shown on Belmopan Weekly. Thanks to everyone interviewed in addition to Marty O'Farrell who also provided video footage that was unfortunately never used. well check it out and see for yourself.

King of the Hills Bike Race in Belize - photos
King of the Hills, Hosted by Western Region Cycling Association, August 18, 2013

VIDEO: Tour of Carrie Bow Cay Field Station
Follow along as station manager Zach Foltz takes you on a tour of the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay Field Station in Belize, Central America.

Fallet A. Young Environmental Summer Program at CBS
The Community Baboon Sanctuary's Environmental Summer Program finished last week. "The Fallet A. Young Environmental Summer Program came to an end on the 17th August, 2013. The first week was form 5-9 of August for 7 to 11 years of age. The Second week was from 12-16 of August for 12-16 years of age. The camp ended with a visit to Mayflower Bocawina National Park. We had a total of 136 children that atteded this years camp. A special thanks goes out to everyone who assisted or help in anyway to make this camp successful."

King of the Hills Pictures
Isaac Rhys captured some vivid pictures of the King of the Hills bicycle race that wound through Cayo Sunday. Great pictures, Isaac!

Joris Hendrik at Grandeur Fashion Show
Joris Hendrik represented Belize at the Grandeur Fashion Show at Carifesta XI in Suriname. Tanya Carter will be performing, and she'll be wearing his designs. Well done, Joris!

Guava Limb Café Launch Party
Cayo is getting another great café downtown. The Guava Limb Cafe will be on Burns avenue, overlooking the Macal River Park. The launch party is this Saturday. You can check out their delicious menu on their page. 'Slim and trim, like a guava limb.' "Join us at our official Launching this Saturday, August 24th 2013!! Come & have a taste of something different...tasty & healthy - 'Slim & Trim like Guava Limb.' There will be surprise giveaways and promotional discounts on selected food items. We invite you to experience a little Jungle Paradise in town....we're doing things different for your enjoyment!! "

Galen Eagles Band Plays Suriname
The Galen Eagles Band played at the Thalia theatre during Carifesta XI in Suriname. Joris Hendrik was there to get the video of some of their great performance. In related news, Joris Hendrik got to show off his designs last night.

Channel 7

Menzies Marches, Stirm Stays Put
It’s been almost a month since we’ve heard from the marches organized by members of the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches. They’ve been leading what they’ve dubbed “Pro-Constitution Marches” all across the country to raise awareness on the Gender Policy, and the sections they want removed. The marches have been a joint effort between Belize Can’s Patrick Menzies, Belize Action’s Pastor Scott Stirm, and Plus TV’s Louis Wade to mobilize church leaders across the country to show just how much of the population share their sentiments. But today, Belize Can moved alone, with no support from Wade and Stirm, when he organized a march in Belmopan. 7News was there, and Daniel Ortiz found out why: Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 9:30 this morning, 100 members of the Spanish-speaking churches gathered to demonstrate in front of the House of Representatives.

Menzies Looking For A Fight With UB
As you heard in our interview with Menzies, he intended to protest against UB for this alleged Gender Department which is supposedly being established at the national University. That was the second part of his demonstration, and which goes hand in hand with his anti-victimization campaign. Viewers may remember that Menzies also insists that UB terminated him without just cause. We followed him to UB, where he staged a mini sermon at the front gate of the campus. Daniel Ortiz challenged him on his latest allegation against the University, and on his victimization issues. Here’s how that went:… Daniel Ortiz reporting About 45 minutes after Patrick Menzies and members of the Spanish Speaking Churches left Independence Hill, they arrived in front of the UB Campus. Fresh from their march through the rain, the crowd gathered to listen to his stinging remarks aimed at the University on loudspeaker.

Nearly Ran Over A Cop, Businessman Gets A Year In Jail
50 year-old Orange Walk businessman David Carrillo is spending the first night of 1 year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to intentionally trying to run over a police officer. According to police Constable Yann Chin, he was manning a police checkpoint in Hattieville last night just after 9:30 when a white vehicle approached. PC Chinn said that instead of stopping the vehicle, the driver cut into another lane and ran through the checkpoint, forcing him to jump out of the way at the last minute to avoid getting hit. Police chased down the vehicle, detained Carrillo who was driving, and they charged him with aggravated assault.

Molestor Sentenced to 64 Years, Will Serve 18
And while he will spend 1 year, 41 year-old Niccanor Fermin will spend a total of 18 years in prison. That’s the sentence which Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed him on Friday. Viewers may remember that Fermin was convicted by a jury of 6 count of carnal knowledge 3 weeks ago where he sexually abused a 9 year-old female over a span of 5 years with the threat of withholding money for school fees if she reported him. Fermin was allowed to present a mitigation plea in which he called 5 of his relatives to testify on his behalf, begging for leniency because he is a father of 3.

Taiwan Donates Major Money For Tilapia
Tilapia production in Belize got a major shot in the arm today when Taiwan donated 1.3 million Belize dollars to the Ministry of Agriculture. It’s for a joint project with the Taiwanese and Ambassador David Wu handed it over to Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega. This was the second donation for the five-year, five million dollar Tilapia hatchery project which aims to provide male tilapia fingerlings to small- scale farmers around the country. So far, over 60 farmers have benefited and they hope to triple that over the next few years. The centre hopes to produce one million fingerlings to be supplied to fish farmers.

Battle Park Ready To Open, Taxi-Men Battling For Space
The Battlefield Park is at the heart of Belize City and for the past four months – it’s been getting a complete re-design, and the news tonight is that it’s nearing completion. The park is expected to be opened by the Mayor next week – but today we got a preview of the finishing touches from the councilor with responsibility for parks, Kevin Singh:… Kevin Singh - City Councilor "The final touches that we're putting in is a sprinkler that is going to be set up - water will be timed, it won't run all day; every hour water shoots up and it's going to come up. I was asking if we could put several more benches because as you can see it's a lot of space and we need to put more benches. We're getting dirt bins made so that we can put them out and a few railings to go around and that's about it." Jules Vasquez "Now, one of the main things you guys have done is try and move the homeless out of the park." Kevin Singh "Well as far as you can see they are not here. What we have done is that we got a Park Warden and acts as a security and he has done a great job. He talks to them and some of them don't like the situation and one of them was really behaving rudely and he told them that he needed a bath and that the lady and her children out there don't want to sit down there if you sit there, he's just trying to do his job to keep them out."

Why Amin Hegar Is Still In the Game In Belmopan
In the 2012 General Election PUP Candidate for Belmopan Amin Hegar lost by 218 votes to John Saldivar. It was surprisingly close considering Hegar – who is a former one-term Cayo West Representative – was a relative newcomer in Belmopan. And while the pundits may have thought that the scrappy Hegar had another run left in him – in July, he surprised observers when he came out endorsing PUP newcomer Jason Patrick Andrews. But like new love that fades fast, Hegar has “un-endorsed” Andrews and has officially thrown in his hat to what it appears could be a four way race: Hegar versus three newcomers to electoral politics, Andrews included. Today, we asked him why he backed out of the Andrews endorsement; he said the people were calling his name:… Dr. Amin Hegar - Plans to Contest PUP convention, Belmopan "There were people from the party that wanted to push me one side and then other people so I decided to step down with the condition that if Belmopan is divided then I would go back immediately. They said Doc it won't be divided, you have to come in and they kept calling at home and my wife said they are calling you again and they want you to run. That clamor of the people made me come into the race again."

Belize u-15 Football Plays Well, But Misses The Second Round
Belize’s under 15 football team, affectionately known as the Junior Jaguars, had another dominant performance today in Cayman, crushing Grenada 6 – 1, in a game that finished 40 minutes ago. But, the bad news is, it won’t be enough. That’s because Guatemala edged out Jamaica one to nil, to emerge with an undefeated record, making them the only team to advance to the next round in the CONCACAF Cayman Islands 2013 Under-15 Championship. Overall, the Belize team had a more than respectable performance, with three wins, one loss, scoring 11 goals and only giving up three.

Female Volleyballers Off to A Good Start In Honduras
And while the juniour male footballers just wrapped up their tournament at around 6:40 in Cayman, simultaneously in Honduras the junior female volleyballers had a major win. That game finished up about half hour ago and Belize beat El Salvador in four sets, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23. Top scorer was Sherika Burton with 17 points while Jahshema Saunders had 13 points. Team Belize returns to the court tomorrow again at 5 pm against Nicaragua. So now Belize’s under 18 team has a two and 0 record, after defeating the home team Honduras in the opening game. That was over 3 sets 25-17, 25-13, 25-20.

Female Footballers Leave For World Cup Qualifier In Honduras
And while they are in the thick of a tight competition in Copan, Honduras, Belize’s Female football under 20 team is also in Honduras tonight – but they are in Comayagua. They are participating in the UNCAF U-20 Female Championship – which is a world cup qualifier. We spoke to the team at the airport today where they told us, this is their time:… Gina Zabaneh -FFB Women's Director "It's about time that Belize knows that the women are in their finding a place in the federation as footballers as well as the males. They are all strong as the males, they just need the exposure that they have not gotten. We're trying to expose them to the media and to the country. " Beatrice Alfaro "Well I am confident in my team that they will perform to the best of their abilities so I am confident with my players. I'll always keep hopes and boost them up."

Making Medical Tourism Work
BELTRAIDE is determined to make medical tourism a reality in Belize as soon as possible. They completed a strategy a year ago, and now they are trying to fill in some of the pieces that will be necessary to make medical tourism a practical reality in Belize. One key piece is a Belize Medical Tourism Association. Today at ITVET in Belize City they started a two day working session with Belizean doctors to come up with a vision for this new association. BELTRAIDE’s Nick Ruiz told us more: Nicolas Ruiz - Director, BELTRAIDE "The Medical Tourism Association will allow for that lobbying force and that lobbying presence and influence to interact with government to bring all the stakeholders together - doctors, banking institutions, insurance institutions, medical practitioners - all of the players in the sector are coming together to work with us to develop the sector. We view that in dialoguing with the stakeholders through the association, centralizing everybody and bringing everyone together - we can have a closer interaction with them knowing that the incentive packages need to be placed. I believe that the association will certainly be heard once they organize themselves - I will be lobbying for the sector with government and other entities ensuring that it is growing. For our part - we are very committed and we want to be absolutely transparent about it - it's not a waste of time, we don't get people here to dwell on where we have been fallen short but to work on what needs to be done. The main goal here is to make sure that whatever medical facilities that will be catering to medical tourism are in place and that they are certified, that they are up to standard and that they can attract medical tourist to Belize and get good quality services."

Channel 5

Belize Can protests Gender Policy in front of National Assembly
This morning, a group of about one hundred persons held a twin protest in the nation’s capital – against the government and against the University of Belize. The group included [...]

Protest taken to UB because of rumored gender studies department
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about the protest in Belmopan.  At eleven this morning, the group prepared to march from the National Assembly Building on the Ring Road [...]

Oceana still hasn’t found a VP for Belize
OCEANA Belize has been one of the most fervent and active environmental groups. It has challenged offshore drilling concessions and made waves when it tried to push for a referendum [...]

Firebrand Audrey Matura Shepherd returns to activism private practice
Four years ago, Matura Shepherd was planning to go into private practice as an attorney. But that’s when the call to champion OCEANA’s cause sent her on a different path. [...]

Shooting victim taken to hospital and shooter escapes through the same hospital
San Ignacio Police are looking for one man in connection with a shooting incident on Monday night. Just before nine pm Police were called to the emergency ward of the [...]

Not only for sandy beaches, but visitors will come for medical tourism
Living in a developed country has appeal because of the availability of most amenities known to man. However, there is also a price that comes with a developed nation’s quality [...]

Woman pleads for help for ailing friend
And in a reversal of that story, a Belizean woman is in urgent need of medical assistance outside of Belie. Rosita Williams is in need of urgent medical assistance aboard [...]

House keeper steals from home
A housekeeper and her common-law husband are in trouble with the Police after the woman allegedly suffered a severe case of sticky-fingers syndrome. Reports are that thirty-one year old Sylvia [...]

Electrician steals car battery
A Belize City electrician is out on bail after being charged for the theft of a car battery from inside a vehicle belonging to Errol Garbutt.  The grey Chevy Tracker [...]

Motorist gets one year in prison for knocking down a cop
Orange Walk businessman, fifty year old David Carrillo, was sentenced to one year behind bars for the aggravated assault with his vehicle of a cop. The Trial Farm resident today [...]

Former Benque Mayor complains about condition of a park
Former Mayor of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Moises Martinez is up in arms about the deplorable condition of the Edison Coleman Park. Built on the twenty-eighth of March 1993, it [...]

Belize Red Cross Celebrate a milestone
Ninety seven million volunteers worldwide belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Red Cross was founded to protect human life and health, and to prevent and [...]

Taiwan donates over a million dollars for a Tilapia project
There will soon be a hatchery center for tilapia farming located in Central Farm in the Cayo district. That center will come courtesy of the Republic of China/Taiwan which today [...]

Oceana launches new Website
Earlier in the news we told you about the departure of Oceana Belize Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd. A team from Oceana’s headquarters will come to Belize to conduct interviews [...]

Female Volleyball team performs well in Honduras
The Belize Volley Ball Association has sent the Female Junior National team to Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras, to participate in the Central American Championship. In its first game on [...]

Female Football Team heads to UNCAF tournament
Volleyball is not the only team sport that Belizean women are taking to international tournaments. The National Under Twenty Female Football team departed the country earlier today for Honduras to [...]

Final performances will determine who will be the next Superstar
There is exactly one competing show left in season two of Be the Next Superstar….and that show is tonight. For the last time, four participants will try to receive maximum [...]


Tenant Says They Are Not As Safe As They Thought
Yesterday we brought you the story of a young girl recovering after being mauled by a pit-bull. Reporter Marion Ali revisited the story and here is that report. “Pit-bull mauling is becoming commonplace in Belize, particularly because of the clandestine pit-bull fights that dog owners have been reported to engage in as a betting sport. Some dog owners train their pit bulls to attack for the kill, and target small animals such as cats and other smaller dogs – even each other. Since the weekend alone, there have been two reported pit-bull mauling. One left three year old Alicia Guardado and her mother, Maria Guerra recovering from bite wounds inflicted by a dog that belongs to their landlord. The dog, according to eyewitnesses, charged at the child when she began to cry. Her father, Edwardo Guardado, he moved along with his common-law wife, Maria Guerra, and children to 56 Iguana Street Extension two months ago and thought they were safe at the location because the yard has a high fence and gate. But little did they know that their biggest threat was right amidst their surroundings. Both mother and child suffered bite wounds to mostly their lower body on the legs and thighs. Alicia Guardado, had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital bleeding profusely with bite wounds on her right upper thigh while Maria Guerra was suffered wounds to her left leg. The injuries have confined Guerra to her house and Guardado says that has put a dent in the family’s income. He is not pleased with the way the dog owner, Ricardo Velasquez, has addressed the situation. The men argued momentarily while we visited the family on Monday. After a few minutes, they seemed to reach an agreement. The dog owner, Ricardo Velasquez told us right off that he has purchased the medicine that the child and her mother need and on Monday, he agreed to pay the family for the time that Maria Guerra has to stay away from work.

Oceana Belize Launches New Website for Students and Educators
It has been four years since Oceana opened its doors in Belize and today the office introduced its own website to share and promote the work that it does. The user-friendly website, is designed to assist students and educators with environmental information. Outgoing Vice President of Oceana in Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, explained to reporters today how it came about. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “What we did instead of trying to respond to everyone, we had a marine scientist here by the name of Leah Berry, she came here on a consultation, she did her work and left but she saw the demands we were having for information. Having worked at another institution in the US and them having developed a website that would address some of the very same questions people ask us, she suggested we do the same. So, she had to write them since they had the rights over this idea and how it is laid out and she contacted them and asked if we could use some of their information and localize it and she said the best way Oceana can do it is to launch the website that would be very educational and very informative; of course, none of us here had the capacity; we loved the idea; then Miss Idalia Machuca who is studying abroad in Canada had written us and asked if she could do an internship with us and Leah, having read her qualifications that we can ask her to take on this challenge; it was amazing because she has never built a website but she knew how to do research, she knew how to put information together, she had very important skills and so, we approached her and told her that she can do an internship with us but we asked her if she was prepared to take on this challenge.”

Belize Works At Formalizing Medical Tourism Association
Stakeholders in tourism are meeting to discuss the development of Belize’s Medical Tourism Association. This is an initiative which the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, has had in the making for some time now. According to the Executive Director of BELTRAIDE, Nicholas Ruiz, Medical Tourism simply refers to tourists visiting the country for a two- fold experience, namely to get medical attention and experience the wonders that Belize has to offer. Today Ruiz gave us an overview of why there is a need to establish such Association in the country. NICHOLAS RUIZ “Last year we were formalizing the strategy to develop and promote the sector; one of the things that came out is that we believe and we know that we want an association that will bring all the medical providers, the nurses, doctors, tour guide operators and all the people who comprise this sector, this industry, together so that they can lobby and advocate for the things that need to be in place in terms of policy and regulations and they are very excited about it. Our consultant will be back in September with a draft of the document that will seek to form and govern the association; so, we will have its mission, vision, its objectives, its plan of action and its composition; all those things we hope to have by the end of September.

Domestic Worker and Spouse Go To Court For Stealing From Employer
A 31 year old woman who stole from her employer, was spared a custodial sentence when she appeared in court today and pled guilty to theft and handling stolen goods. She is Sylvia Augustine, a resident of 7146 Kraal Road. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton fined her one thousand dollars and gave her until November 30 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve nine months. Magistrate Hamilton told her that she was given a certain amount of trust when she was employed as a maid and she betrayed that trust. He told her that the only reason he will not send her to prison is because it is her first offence. The incident occurred yesterday. The complainant, Asarco Solis, a resident of 6181 Dolphin Drive, reported to police that when Augustine was leaving her house to go home she noticed that Augustine’s purse was bulky and she became suspicious. She said she escorted Augustine to Belama Police Station and when a police officer searched Augustine’s purse he found several items that was her property. The stolen items included a cellular phone, a head phone, key chains an Mp3 player and some pens. Augustine and her common-law husband, 47 year old taxi driver Carlos Richards, were charged with handling stolen goods for a GPS and an AM/FM transmitter that were stolen from Solis’ residence. That charge was withdrawn from Augustine after her guilty plea for theft was accepted. Richards pled guilty to the charge. But Magistrate Hamilton entered an equivocal plea of not guilty after Richards said that he did not know that stolen items were in the house when the police came to conduct a search. Richards was released on a bail of one thousand. His case was adjourned until September 26.

Taiwanese Ambassador Hands Over Cheque For Aquaculture Project
The Republic of China Taiwan today donated over six hundred thousand U.S dollars to the Ministry of Agriculture. The donation went toward the Government of Belize-Taiwan Aquaculture Project to construct a hatchery center for tilapia farming at Central Farm, in order to provide male tilapia fingerlings to small-scale farmers around the country. This is the second donation toward the tilapia project which is to be a five-year long project costing approximately five million Belize dollars. The six hundred and fifty one thousand, seven hundred and twenty five US Dollar cheque was presented by Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu, to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Gaspar Vega who speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize and the tilapia farmers, expressed his gratitude for the donation, as it serves to enhance the tilapia hatchery and farming. Ambassador Wu stated that the hope for the centre is to produce one million fingerlings to be supplied to farmers. Over sixty farmers have benefitted from the project and the long term goal is to assist around two hundred farmers.

Teenage Boy Succumbs Following Hit and Run Incident In Western Belize
On July 27 two teenagers from Valley of Peace Village were the victims of a hit and run accident in the village. On Monday morning 17-year-old Jorge Orellano succumbed to injuries he suffered in the incident. According to reports Orellano was along with 15-year-old Ernesto Guardado sitting on the roadside in Valley of Peace when they were hit by a red Mazda pickup truck. The two were dragged for a couple yards. The driver of the vehicle did not stop to render assistance. A passerby assisted and transported the two injured teenagers to the Western Regional Hospital. Orellano was suffering from head injuries and abrasions to the body. The driver of the pickup truck was later identified as 45-year-old Julio Echeverria, a farmer from Valley of Peace. Echeverria was charged with driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed level. It is expected that those charges will now be elevated.

One Year In Prison for Eluding Police Checkpoint
Forty-nine year old David Carrillo, a businessman of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, was sentenced to one year imprisonment today when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and pled guilty to aggravated assault. When Magistrate Cayetano asked Carrillo if he had anything to say before sentence was passed, Carrillo said that while he was waiting in line at the check point he suffered a “blackout” and when he regained consciousness he found that the car was moving and he pulled to the side of the road. He said he had no intention of hitting anyone. The incident occurred shortly after nine o’clock last night. Police constables Yan and Chin reported that they were at a check point in Hattieville when a Grand Marquis car pulled up and was waiting in line. They said after a few minutes the driver of the car cut the line and proceeded to drive through the check point. They said they indicated to the driver to stop and he refused to do so. Yan and chin said the driver drove directly in their path and they had to move out of the way to avoid being hit by the car. The police pursued the car and forced the driver to stop. They then apprehended him and took him into custody. They then learned that his name was David Carrillo.


Sabido's Attackers Are Taken To Court
While Sabido recuperates from his injuries, this morning his accused attackers were escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where they were charged for aggravated assault and robbery. Both 27 year old Najirie Quiroja, better known as (white puss), and 18 year Edwin Cruz, were offered bailed of $3,000 each and a surety of the same amount which they met. But as was expected, the victim’s family was dissatisfied with the ruling. Carmela Sabido – Daughter “Yo lo único que pido es que hagan justicia porque esos dos muchachos que lo hicieron están jóvenes ellos pueden trabajar y mi papa no puede él estaba en perfectas condiciones y yo lo lleve al doctor y él me dijo que estaba en perfectas condiciones que solo necesitaba vitaminas y ahorita mi papa no puede ni comer o sentarse porque lo está vomitando, todo lo que come o lo que bebe los está vomitando y yo creo que esto no es justo, todos conocen a don Waco el primer taquero en Orange Walk él no se mete con nadie por favor que la gente me ayude para que esto no quede impune porque todo el tiempo matan y no buscan quien lo hace pero esta vez sí tenemos testigos que si fueron ellos porque están saliendo libre.”

Elderly Man Ruthlessly Attacked and Robbed Of Cash
Tonight the community of San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk is in shock after one of their own was brutally attacked and robbed by two men from the village. The good news is that 78 year old Onofre Sabido is slowly recuperating from his injuries and police have been able to detain the two men believed to be responsible for the attack. Reporter Victor Castillo files the following report. Victor Castillo – Reporting Seventy nine year old Onofre Sabido, better known as Don Waco, lives by himself in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar, Orange Walk Town. Despite his age and the fact that he is confined to wheel chair, Sabido buys and resells empty bottles for a living. On Sunday evening the senior citizen was inside his home resting when he was brutally attacked and robbed by two young men of the same village. According to Sabido, while one of the men guarded the entrance door, the second individual proceeded to attack him.

Doctor Amin Hegar Is Back In Political Race
Tonight, all indications are that a convention will take place in Belmopan to elect a PUP Standard Bearer for the area. A few weeks ago the Belmopan branch of the People’s United Party announced that Doctor Amin Hegar, the party’s point man in Belmopan, who was defeated by UDP’s John Saldivar in the 2012 General Elections, was stepping aside and throwing his full support behind the candidacy of Patrick Andrews, the former co-host of the Rise and Shine Morning Show on Plus T.V who announced his candidacy in the month of July. However, it seems that Hegar had a change of heart because word coming out of Belmopan indicates that the doctor is back in the race. Apparently, the PUP in Belmopan is divided hence why Hegar decided to contest the convention. Also seeking to form part of the race is Ruth Logan. No date for the convention has been set as yet.

Will It Be Welcome To The PUP Party For Cordel Hyde?
Will the former Area Representative for Lake I, Cordel Hyde return to the PUP? That’s a question that many are asking, one that only the hierarchy of the party can answer. In the month of August, Party Leader Francis Fonseca revealed that Hyde has met with a number of members of the PUP. Honorable Fonseca stated and we quote “He, (meaning Cordel Hyde), has indicated in very clear terms to me that he is very keen and enthusiastic about rejoining the party and helping the party to become the government of Belize in the future election.” unquote. While the Party Leader, it seems, has accepted Hyde with open arms, the same cannot be said for other members of the executive who will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the future of Hyde in the party. Viewers might recall that Hyde won three consecutive elections in Lake Independence before he decided not to contest the 2012 General Elections. Hyde announced his decision approximately two months before the elections putting the PUP in the hot seat and scampering for a new Standard Bearer for the division.

Orange Walk Business Man Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Trying to Run Over A Cop
50 year-old Orange Walk businessman David Carrillo is spending the first night of a 1 year prison sentence at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after he pleaded guilty to intentionally trying to run over a police officer. According to police, Constable Yann Chin, was manning a checkpoint on Monday night just after 9:30 near Hattieville when a white Grand Marquis vehicle approached the area. But instead of stopping, the driver of the vehicle cut into another lane and drove through the checkpoint, forcing Chin to jump out of the way so as not to get hit. Police chased the vehicle and detained Carrillo who was behind the wheel. He was charged with aggravated assault and arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he pleaded guilty. Carrillo explained that when he was approaching the checkpoint, his mind went blank.


United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize is launched at Conference for Life
Over 130 adolescent girls and women from across the country came together for a Conference For Life. The first time event hosted by the newly formed United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize underscored on the topic of abortion. Speakers presented on the legal, spiritual, medical, social...

CWU President to leave office
A meeting Monday afternoon between disaffected stevedores and the two-man executive of the Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) resulted in roadmap of the way forward. At the Labour Department office Monday afternoon, CWU president Antonio Gonzalez confirmed that he would not seek reelection to his...

PUP Belmopan Area Representative Seat to be hotly contested
It was not too long ago that Patrick Jason Andrews announced his candidacy for PUP Standard Bearer for the Belmopan Constituency. Shortly after that, the PUP issued a press release stating that current Standard Bearer Dr. Amin Hegar had declared his full support of Andrews. This caused some confusion...

Man in custody after alleged standoff with Police
A man is in custody after an alleged standoff with Police. On Saturday night, just before 6:30pm, authorities were called to a shooting in Camalote Village. Preliminary information was that the detainee reportedly fired several shots at his ex-common law wife’s bar. When they arrived at the scene, Police...

Belize’s U-15 Male National Football Team lose to Guatemala
Belize’s U-15 Male National Team is “kicking up dust” in the inaugural regional tournament, having won its first two matches over St. Lucia, 1-0, and Jamaica, 3-1. But against arch-nemesis Guatemala last night at Georgetown’s The Annex Stadium, we lost 1-0 on a 33rd...

National Bank of Belize due to open in September
The National Bank of Belize is one of the latest major projects being undertaken by the Government of Belize. The bank will seek to provide an affordable credit system to lower and middle income Belizeans and particularly public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. The Bank will have a...

Carolee Jean Rhaburn remanded to prison for drug and firearm charges
39-year-old Belize City woman, Carolee Jean Rhaburn, was remanded to prison on charges of drug trafficking, kept firearm and ammunition offenses. This morning, the unrepresented woman was read the three criminal offenses in the courtroom of Magistrate Hamilton. According to police, on Friday, August 16, Rhaburn was walking on...

Police looking for thief following San Ignacio break-in
A sales manager in San Ignacio woke up to a burglar attempting to clean out his establishment. According to the complainant, shortly before 3:30 on Friday morning, he was awoken by noise coming from his yard and when he got up to make checks, he noticed that the door...

UWI holds Scholarship Fundraising Banquet
Finding financing for college can sometimes be a difficult task, but one accredited university plans to provide a more feasible way for students to pursue their studies. The University of the West Indies Open Campus will be hosting its first ever Scholarship Gala Fundraising Banquet on August 31st. All...

Belizeans travel to Suriname for CARIFESTA
Last week Wednesday over thirty young Belizean performers, visual artists, fashion designers and writers were geared up and ready to board a plane to Suriname to participate in the 11th annual CARIFESTA. A total of 24 countries are expected to participate in...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Bicycle parade set for September 10th.
Sept 10th.

Flying High on Caye Caulker
For over 6 months now Caye Caulker and our surrounding waters have been aware of Belize’s first ultra light plane as on calm afternoons we cannot but help notice it buzzing around our island, seemingly just above our heads!! The plane is amphibious ie can move on water and in the air (oh very James Bond I hear you cry) and indeed it has become quite a spectacle for us locals. The plane’s owner and Captain is Walter Martin, a resident here in Caye Caulker, who moved here with his wife Christine (both of Bavarian decent) from Canada. Walter, a self proclaimed Bush Man, found his small heaven here in Caye Caulker where the warmth of the sun and the simplicity of life can be combined in one sweet spot – Caye Caulker. Walter has been flying for over 7 years has been through loop holes in order to obtain the correct licenses/ insurances in order to make his flying here very much above board, at this stage is merely enjoying his hobby/ passion at a ‘Go Slow’ pace.

Caribbean Colors has sushi!
Craving sushi? California Roll BZD$ 12, Spicy Lobster BZ$ 12, Spicy Shrimp Roll BZD$ 12, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese BZD$ 17, Vegan Roll BZD$ 10. Call your order into 668-7205 or stop by Caribbean Colors Art Café and we will roll it fresh for you. Eat in or takeaway. Open until 3 pm.


“The dügü is a sacred ceremony and is not performed as entertainment for any audience. We find the announcement insulting …” The Garifuna community is up in arms over what they say is the lack of consultation and inclusion of community leaders in a proposed project by Norwegian Cruise Line to set up a cruise port and destination island on Harvest Caye, a few miles from Placencia, Stann Creek. Not only are they decrying the fact that they have not been consulted on a decision to use the Garifuna theme for the destination island – they are also outraged over a proposal to use the dügü ritual for daily entertainment. Robert Mariano, Senior Superintendent of Police and Southern Regional Commander, and National Garifuna Council (NGC) president, issued a short statement today saying, “The National Garifuna Council condemns the announcement by Norwegian Cruise Line and their agents to highlight the Garifuna culture, particularly our sacred ceremony, the dügü, as an attraction for tourists without as much as the courtesy of consulting with the leadership of our community.”

Fermin was sentenced to 64 years, but he will only serve 18 years; the sentences are to run concurrently On July 31, 2013, Nicannor Fermin, 41, was convicted of six counts of carnal knowledge after a 9- member jury found him guilty on all six counts. Fermin was accused of having sexual intercourse with a child from the time she was 9 years old, up until she entered high school. The girl was finally brave enough to report the matter to a teacher in January of 2010. During the trial, the minor gave detailed accounts of the occasions when Fermin engaged in sexual intercourse with her, and also testified about the threats he made to prevent her from refusing his sexual advances. In his defense, Fermin testified that he was only trying to steer the child in the right direction, and that she was having a relationship with someone who was too old for her. He said that it’s because he tried to deter her from seeing that person that she made up the lies about him, and that it was the person with whom she had had the relationship, that had committed the crime.

The lease for the port has been revoked. Michael Ashcroft’s Private Investment Limited (PIL), a financial institution in the Turks and Caicos, is expected to challenge the recent decision by the Barrow administration to assume control of the Commerce Bight Port, a few miles south of Dangriga. The clash comes after Government moved recently to revoke the lease for the port, which was held by Port of Belize Limited (PBL) – a company which PIL had put in receivership last January. With Cabinet authorization, Minister of Works and Transport Rene Montero signed an order on Thursday, August 15, 2013, revoking the lease granted to Port of Belize Limited. As a result of the order, Montero arranged for Government to assume immediate control of the Commerce Bight Port. Errol Gentle, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works & Transport, told Amandala that he served the notice at 10:00 a.m. this morning on the receivers. Gentle said that the Commerce Bight Port has not been in operation; he is not certain for how long.

A man who was rejected by his common-law wife for a younger man fired several shotgun blasts in her bar, named La Serenita, in Camalote, and when police came, engaged them in a shootout three different times after shooting up the bar. The culprit, however, was later arrested, taken to the Belmopan Police Station, and afterwards charged in court. Roberto Castellanos, 56, of Camalote Village, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today after he was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on charges of attempted murder, discharging a firearm in public and use of a firearm under the influence of alcohol. He has been remanded until October 25, when he will be returned to court. Castellanos went to the business place of his common-law wife, Veronica Sarcenio, 40, of Camalote, with whom he had been living for about 20 years, to reconcile with her, but he was rebuffed. He then began firing his weapon in the bar. According to a police report dated today, Monday, “On 17.08.13 at about 6:30 p.m., police officers responded to a shooting in Camalote Village. Initial investigation revealed that Roberto Castellanos had reportedly fired several shots at Serenita Bar owned by Veronica Sarcenio (Castellano’s ex-common-law wife).

Pichinte pleaded guilty to the two counts of drug trafficking after police found the weed in his house. Jerimias Pichinte, 44, a Salvadoran national with Belizean residency, was taken before Magistrate Clive Lino, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. According to police, at 11:00 this morning, members of the Gang Suppression Unit went to Pichinte’s home, located at #5 Princess Margaret Drive, to conduct a search for illegal firearms and ammunition. But according to police, what they found were two amounts of cannabis in separate large black plastic bags. Police said that when they visited the house and the door was opened for them, they saw a Hispanic man, later identified as Pichinte, holding a plastic bag in his hands. They said that when Pichinte saw them, he ran and threw the bag over an adjoining fence.

Evyn Peńa, 18, remanded for four counts of carnal knowledge. Evyn Adalid Membreno Ardon Peńa, 18, a construction worker of #86 Antelope Street, appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Clive Lino today, where he was read four counts of carnal knowledge. According to police, at 4:43 p.m. on Wednesday August 14, a minor and her mother visited the police station and reported that on March 10, 2013, she engaged in sexual intercourse with Peńa when she visited his home on Antelope Street. The minor also told police that in the months of April and May, he again engaged in sexual intercourse with her, and that it occurred a fourth time in this month. According to the minor, after a doctor examined her, he confirmed that she was carnally known and also that she was pregnant. The minor told police that Peńa was the only person with whom she had had sexual intercourse.

Police in Belmopan are reportedly investigating an alarming report from the Ministry of Natural Resources concerning a threat received in the mail, but would not confirm this to Amandala. Details at this time are still sketchy, but media reports say that an envelope was delivered to the Ministry last Thursday and found inside were a bullet and a note. The package was allegedly addressed to one of the top three ranking public servants within the ministry. The specific content of that note is not known at this time, but it is reportedly of a threatening nature. Amandala understands that the CIB Branch in Belmopan has been tasked to investigate the matter. We have been attempting to confirm the report with the authorities from the police department; however, when we contacted the O.C. Belmopan Police, ASP Sinquest Martinez, he referred us to Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez, who told us that he is not aware of the incident because he is not in office this week.

The Belize Female Junior National Volleyball Team wins its opening match at the U-20 (which is actually U-18) Central American Championship against Honduras in impressive fashion, 3 sets to 0, 25-17, 25-13, 25-20. Top scorer was Sherika Burton with 14 points (10 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces) and followed closely by Jahshema Saunders with 13 points (6 kills and 7 aces). Maurissa Williams also contributed with 8 points (4 kills, 4 blocks), Xiomara Quan with 4 aces, Leandra Betson and Kandyce Burn with 2 points each. Libero Nayala Tun also had an outstanding game with her serve receive and defense. Other players of the team are: Leyia Hernandez, Gianna Brown, Balyn Gordon, and Kevanna Sebastian. The team is led by head coach Lupita Quan and assisted by Sherlene Johnson and Shelmadine Cacho and the manager Mrs. Sharon Tun. Belize plays their second match tomorrow, Tuesday, at 5 p.m. against El Salvador.

It was another active weekend of basketball in the Belize District Basketball Association’s (BDBA) Firms Basketball Tournament at Birds Isle. This one is apparently living up to the name of “Firms,” as, according to reports, only employees of the respective firms, which include some partnerships, are represented on the court. In game 1 on Friday night, August 16, Heritage Bank won a close one, 68-64, over Ready Call. Top scorers for Heritage were Felix Martinez 25 pts 10 rebs, Kurt Burgess 22 pts 14 rebs, and Jaleel Arnold 11 pts 5 rebs; while Ready Call was led by Hubert Baptist 17 pts 5 rebs 5 assts, Aaron Baptist 14 pts 4 stls, and George Smith 12 pts. In game 2, Port of Belize put down Digicell, 68-55, behind Earl Johnson 34 pts 4 rebs 3 assts 3 stls, Angus Cherrington 11 pts 12 rebs, and Lennox Bowman 11 pts 7 rebs; while for Digicell, Devon Lozano had 15 pts 4 rebs, and Jordan Santos 14 pts 3 rebs. There was no third game played, as Customs & Excise Dept./MoE won by default over Bowen & Bowen, who were unable to field a team.

The Opposition PUP is upset by the PUDP model, but where the biggest news of the day is concerned – the US$ 50 million Norwegian Cruise Lines’ investment at Harvest Caye, their four Toledo and Stann Creek area representatives are supportive of the investment, and the PUP on a whole seems unable to mount serious criticism of same. Neoliberalism is an extreme form of capitalism, and at this newspaper recently we have been trying to give you a sense of what it is by publishing excerpts from a book by Naomi Klein. We have described the PUP government years from 1998 to 2004 as a neoliberal era in Belize. What we mean is that there was a lot of privatization, large government loans taken out abroad at commercial rates, excessively concessionary arrangements for big foreign investment deals, and a mood of supply-side economics. Supply-side economics believes that if the wealthy people are doing well and don’t have to pay a lot of taxes, their prosperity will trickle down to the poor masses and everyone will be happy.

Thousands of Egyptians were killed and injured between Wednesday and Friday last week because of a decision made by U.S. president Barack Obama. When the Egyptian military overthrew democratically-elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, a few weeks ago and confined him no one knows where, Obama refused to describe the Egyptian military action as a “coup.” The reason he refused to call the coup a coup is because United States’ law would have then compelled him to suspend the US$ 1.6 billion in annual military aid the United States is giving Egypt. If this U.S. aid had been cut off, the Egyptian generals would not have been so eager to start shooting their own people demonstrating for a return to civilian, democratic rule. By refusing to call a spade a spade, Obama gave the green light to the generals to do whatever they felt like doing. A lot of Egyptian blood is on Barack’s hands. In a few weeks in Belize we will be celebrating a battle where no one died. We Belizeans owe it to all those thousands of Egyptians who gave their lives and limbs for democracy to examine what it is that they believe in to the point that they became martyrs in the streets. We should join our insignificant voices to those worldwide which are condemning these massacres.

The two National Team players rejected the advances of a “match fixer” who approached them during the recently-concluded CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament held in the US. National Team football players Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West have been recognized by Galen University, who presented them with the Galen Eagle Award at the university’s graduation ceremonies held at the Princess Hotel and Casino yesterday, Sunday, August 18. In presenting the awards, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, president of Galen University, told the audience that the award recognized the men for refusing to take a bribe offered by an individual known as a “match fixer” while representing the country at the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup football tournament played in the United States. After the men were given the awards, they received a standing ovation from the audience.

The ad has been on Krem Radio for months now. This morning, my daughter finally accosted me, “Daddy, is that true? Did you guys really want somebody to beat up your little brother?” She was referring to the oft repeated ad for “Colin B. Hyde’s book.” My immediate response was, “Well, not really. Of course not; but you know, sometimes there are angles to a story.” I later dug up a few lines I had scribbled privately on the matter a while back. See below: Thurs. June 13, 2013 In the advertisement promotion for Colin B. Hyde’s book, “Growing up in Old Belize,” they say his big brothers “wanted to find a boy to beat him up.”

Belize Can Patriot, along with the Alliance of Ministers & Leaders of Belize and Social Partners, has organized peaceful demonstrations for today, Tuesday, August 20, in its calls for 1) retraction of the Gender Policy 2013; 2) a declaration that gender equals male and female ONLY; 3) stiffer punishment for authors and/or instigators of victimization in Belize; 4) the guarding of the preamble of the Belize Constitution – as it currently is. The first protest will be staged in front of the National Assembly at 8:30 a.m., and the second in front of the University of Belize in Belmopan at 11:00 a.m. Organizers note that “…the Government of Belize has continued to implement its plans in the 2013 Gender Policy, adding a Gender Department at the University of Belize BMP, although they claim to be awaiting the requested changes by members of the Clergy….” They also contend that “…The Gender Policy: would force changes to our Constitution, since it protects homosexuality – which is a VIOLATION of Section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize…” In the view of the protestors, the promotion of the new gender policy attempts to also “use our children to accept that lifestyle,” and “violates the moral and spiritual values in our nation, and much, much more….”

Dear Editor, I am responding to the letter from Mr. Nathaniel Wander, printed in your August 9, 2013 issue, in which he commented on the subject raised by Evan X Hyde ON JEWS AND CREOLES and these two peoples’ different views on money. Mr. Wander’s letter, albeit well- intentioned, is full of broad statements that can only give the wrong impressions. I cannot address all I would want to in this letter, namely, by inference on Mr. Wander’s part, the African’s lack of a “Book,” lack of a “communitarian ethos,” lack of value of family as publicly created via marriage, and failure to give great weight to the training and education of offspring. I’ll just concentrate on what irks me most. In my opinion, Mr. Wander was disappointingly disingenuous in his summation of the Jewish attitude towards money, Creole term for finance; was at best condescending towards Creoles and is evidently misinformed about African history and the slave trade. Rather than addressing the Creole “attitude” towards money, which I believe was Mr. Hyde’s point, Mr. Wander pointedly inferred what could only be interpreted by this reader as Creole “ineptitude.”

BABE Honorable Leaders of the Government of Belize, I have no doubt that in your hearts you love Belize and all that she stands for. My wife, grown children, friends and I have been so fortunate to enjoy this wonderful country, its people, cultures and physical treasures. Our hope is to see future generations be as blessed as we have been. So what could be the problem with those who claim that the signing of a MOU between the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Lines is a bad decision? The answer lies in what my father (deceased: attorney and Senior Judge in New Jersey) told me many years ago. He said you can change most anything except human nature. Therein lies the rub. What seems to be at work here is letting human nature’s greed and power glands run amuck. They tend to override intellect and vision in similar ways to what we’ve witnessed here in the USA with politicians and sex. Of course one knows what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway because of the power of, and inability to effectively manage, the present forces of human nature.

Dear Friends, When I first saw the headline “Dugu dancing on Harvest Caye,” I was shocked, angry and confused. What came to my mind immediately was which Garifuna family is going all the way to Harvest Caye to do their Dugu ceremony? Or, there will be several Dugu ceremonies to be held at Harvest Caye as of now? For those who do not know anything about the Garifuna culture, Dugu is the religion of the Garifuna people and it is not something to play around with or joke about. Many Christians in the past and present, including some Garifuna people, are against the practice. However, a majority of these people know very little about this religion, made no attempt to learn about it and just want to condemn it. This religion has played and continues to play a vital and integral role in the preservation of the Garifuna culture. It is so unfortunate that some individuals continue to display their ignorance to one of the essences of the Garifuna culture.

Dear Editor, I bring small amounts of people at a time to Belize. I sell Belize as an eco-destination, not a MASS TOURISM destination. We make more money and bring quality people WHO CARE about Belize as overnight tourists; we do not make money (any substantial amount that everyone can share in) with cruise ship passengers. Overnight people spend an average of $150-350 US per person PER DAY in the country; many return to Belize, many help with student scholarships, libraries, donations and many other things we need. Please do NOT bring NCL in the southern part of Belize.

The CWU prez and his general secretary will stay on for a few more months. The schism between stevedores and the Christian Workers Union (CWU), which represents them at the bargaining table, cooled several degrees today after an extensive meeting that lasted most of the afternoon in which, CWU president Antonio “Toncho” Gonzalez said, the parties “trashed out one another,” but were evidently able to come to an acceptable compromise. Last week, the stevedores called for the resignation of Gonzalez and CWU General Secretary James McFoy by Friday, August 16; however, coming out of today’s meeting, mediated by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), the parties agreed that Gonzalez and McFoy would stay on two more months, until October – by which time an audit should be completed and the election of a new executive should be convened. “We will clean up house now…” said Deon Pitter, aka “Ras Pitta,” one of the 150 stevedores registered with the CWU. Pitter said he does not consider today a victory, per se, but he is grateful that the CWU is able to write a new chapter going forward.


Belize Medical Tourism Council/Association
In August of 2012, BELTRAIDE with funding from Compete Caribbean facilitated the development of a Medical Tourism Strategy for Belize. With the strategy completed, BELTRAIDE will be venturing in the formalization of a Medical Tourism Association/ Council via the facilitation of a two day working session. The work sessions will be held today, August 20, 2013 and Friday, August 23, 2013, at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET) Facility in Belize City from 8:30a.m.-12:00p.m. The objectives of the working session are: To develop a name, mission, vision, objectives, and function of the association. To identify sources of finance for the association To designate Members of the Board To outline the rules of engagement for members and develop organizational structure

Break Point
Break Point seeks to empower Caribbean businesses to take on European markets and introduces them to alternative funding sources such as private investors in the form of venture capitalists and Angel investors. It highlights the journey of dedicated regional businesses and entrepreneurs as they vie to become one of the 12 finalists who will travel to London to make their final pitches to a panel of investors, venture capitalists and distributors. In April 2012, CARIFORUM firms and entrepreneurs throughout the 15 CARIFORUM Member States had the opportunity to participate in Break Point by first submitting a 2-3 minute video pitch, along with a 1 page executive summary of their business plan and a short application form to help the Agency capture some pertinent company data.

“Our Day Will Come” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After an extremely lazy day on Sunday it’s surprising that I went to bed as early as I did (around 21.30 hours). Perhaps caused by eye strain from watching what seemed like continuous football (soccer for readers from the States) – Spurs followed by Chelsea and topped off with Barcelona. Or is it just advancing age? I prefer to put it down to tired eyes. I would, wouldn’t I. With such an early ‘to bed’ it was no wonder yesterday morning I found myself awake at around 03.00 hours and that no matter how hard I tried I could not force myself to go back to sleep. With time on my hands (nothing new since moving here really) I decided to start ‘revisiting’ (basically checking prices) of the items we plan to buy in the States and ship for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. I don’t why but when I started adding up the cost of the various items something made me wonder about the validity of the US$ 15,000 duty and tax exemptions allowance that I have been working to all along. Was this correct? I was convinced I had read it somewhere. Or had I imagined it?

Miss Belize Wins The Reina De La Costa Maya 2013
The 21st edition of the International Costa Maya Festival took place on Thursday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4, 2013. This event took place in San Pedro and one of the main attractions was the Reina de la Costa Maya pageant. Since I was the official photographer of the event, I would love to share the event with you. Every year, eight delegates from the Mundo Maya region showcase their beauty and talent as they compete for the crown. The women are from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Here are the lovely ladies.

A Visitor 2:30 a.m. in the Morning at Tom Owens!!
Turtle photos...

Island Beach Clean Up

Fun time was had by all at Tom Owens Island

International Sources

Norwegian: Belize not like Great Stirrup Cay
I goofed in Monday’s blog. I inferred that Norwegian’s new Belize port was tied to its current Great Stirrup Cay, which is the cruise line’s private island and a stop on may of Norwegian cruises. I should have known better. The latest arrangement is more a partnership with the Belize government to build a port to create a new cruise destination. It is not, as Norwegian noted, an exclusive private-island destination like Great Stirrup Cay. “Visitors to the port of call will have an authentic Belize experience, as the destination is being carefully developed to retain the land’s natural beauty and local culture,” said a Norwegian spokesperson. “The goal is to design an authentic experience grounded in the storyline of nature, ancient culture, art, adventure and music that celebrates Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna history and culture.” Duly noted. I got it wrong and I apologize to both Norwegian and the Government of Belize. Knuckles deservedly rapped.

Student volunteers at health clinic in Belize
McKenzie Carda, 21, grew up in Sidney and is currently a junior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This past summer, she took a nine-day trip to Patchakan, Belize where she volunteered at a rural, non-profit health clinic. Carda describes the experience as hands on, rewarding and “eye opening.” On her first day volunteering at the clinic, there were not enough chairs and tables set up yet, so the clinic was running an hour and a half behind schedule. Expecting patients to get upset and leave, Carda was pleasantly surprised. A family with two boys came in and she played ball with them as they waited, which was an activity where the language barrier did not matter. “The family as a whole ended up having something pretty serious with them, but they were so cute and they were so understanding. Everyone down there was pretty relaxed and understanding,” she said.

Ole Miss students win Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights awards the RFK Journalism Award to recognize outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy's dedication to human rights and social issues. The winning project, "M-Powered: University of Mississippi students learn through service in Belize," was led and edited by Patricia Thompson, director of student media and assistant professor, who created the "Multimedia Storytelling" study abroad course. The multimedia course was a partnership with the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education. Five students – Margaret Ann Morgan, Jajuan McNeil, Aubry Killion, Cain Madden and Katie Williamson – traveled with Thompson and assistant professor Mikki Harris to Belize during the 2012 winter intersession to report on the interdisciplinary service learning projects of Ole Miss Study Abroad students. Thompson says she received news of the award in a phone call from Ethel Kennedy.

The hidden beauty of Garifuna Belize
Drumming on the beach, moving in time with junkanu dancers and eating heaping plates of mashed plantain soaked in coconut stew -- more than likely these aren't the experiences you imagine while planning a trip to Belize. In fact, you have to venture off the newbie trail, and head to the southern Stann Creek and Toledo Districts to experience Belize's unique Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture. The Garifuna live along the coast, in the most scenic areas of Belize, where miles of beaches run east to south. One of the smallest groups in the country, they make up just 4% of a total population of around 325,000.

The One Comic That Explains Just How Screwed America Is

Bible Visualized: Contradictions, Misogyny, Violence, Innacuracies
A beautiful and interactive resource to explore negative aspects of the Bible.

The Garifuna Collective Preserves the Rich Culture of Belize
The Garifuna culture of Belize has been a fascination of mine for over a decade now: It’s one of my primary reasons for ranking the country so highly on my “Dream Trips” wish list. Located south of Belize City near Dandriga, the small fishing community of Hopkins Village has preserved this remarkably rich culture for hundreds of years. The Garinagu people, whose language and culture is called Garifuna, descend from shipwrecked Africans whose ancestry can be traced back to the Yoruba, Ibo, and Ashanti tribes of Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. After making their way to Central America, they intermarried with Carib and Arawak Amerindians, and came to be known by the British as “Black Caribs.” Their music, dance, food and clothing offers a mixture of African, Amerindian and Spanish influences that is unique to Central America.

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